The beauty of vitiglio
One of the driving factors behind my photography is the celebration of the body in all its unique and gorgeous permutations. I gravitate towards those who wear their uniqueness on their sleeve for all to see, those who embrace the things that make them stand out among the lumbering crowd, those bright sparks that yell out “Look at me! This is who I am and I love it.” Perhaps it’s my completely opposite upbringing – “you can’t do that, wear that, what will our friends at church think…” – or my own introverted youth that led me to come out of my shell in a most spectacular and creative way later in life. Whichever it is, I am all the more grateful for it.
Although I know and have photographed some truly unique people in my life, at the FAT 2013 fashion runway shows I had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful new (at least to me) model by the name of Chantelle Young. I was only at the shows 2 evenings and watched her work the runway for B.E. Shields and M. Sexton. If her name sounds familiar, she will be competing in the the upcoming 2014 America’s Next Top Model.
Chantelle (a.k.a. Winnie Harlow) has vitiglio, a pigmentation disorder that causes areas of her skin to be white. She has not let be a hindrance to her modeling aspirations and challenges the boundaries of traditional modeling by promoting her condition. She’s a real beauty and I found her immediately engaging when I photographed the runway shows. I found myself gravitating towards her whenever she was on the catwalk and could feel the confidence come off her in waves.
Good luck to Chantelle on the show and I so look forward to seeing more diversity in mainstream modeling.
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