WCW (Anti-Bullying Week Special): Winnie Harlow
Find out why THIS Wednesday, we're crushing on Winnie Harlow. (And every Wednesday, tbh).
HEY THERE and welcome to Woman Crush Wednesday, a weekly feature from MTV Breaks where we raise our glasses to all the fabulous females who are out there conquering life’s taboos and stereotypes, and who are just generally making the world a better place to live day by day.
Since this Wednesday falls within Anti-Bullying Week, we want to focus on empowering all you ladies to stand up to any discrimination that comes flying your way. Because there’s a lot of superficial BS in the media and even spread around schools that tries to bring us down for the way we look instead of what we’re made of.
And since Woman Crush Wednesday is all about celebrating the sexiness of women that are smart, motivated and ambitious, we know EXACTLY which of our lady crushes to celebrate today. Drumroll… it’s WINNIE HARLOW!
She’s got international acclaim as a model now but, back in the day, Winnie was bullied for her skin. She has a skin condition called vitiligo which means she has a lack of a pigment in it called melanin so that, even though she is black, she has patches of pale white on her skin.
The bullying started when she was in middle school and it got so bad that she eventually dropped out of high school. “I didn’t like that I allowed bullies to make that big an impact on my life,” she said on The Real Daytime show last year, “and I made sure that that didn’t happen ever again.”
SO she began to post photos of herself on Instagram that really showcased her true beauty and her new confidence. The result was so stunning that her page was discovered by Tyra Banks who flew her in to take part in America’s Next Top Model 2014 in LA (SERIOUS selfie goals… this definitely gonna happen to us… any day now…).
And the rest is history. She’s since won GQ Portugal’s Role Model of the Year Award in 2015, she’s done major campaigns with companies like Desigual and Diesel and has collaborated with Swarovski, as well as being featured in major fashion week shows.
And the best part is that it was her courage and determination to show others that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and can appear in any form that lead to her global modelling success. In her audition for America's Next Top Model, she said, “For anyone who thinks negatively of me or my skin, I wanna help you be able to see the beauty in every person that, you know, has a disability, a mark, a scar… how can I show you the beauty in differences?”
Winnie is as inspirational as she is beautiful. She overcame horrendous bullying by believing in herself and her ability to challenge the status quo. We love that there is someone out there showing every girl who has ever felt insecure about her appearance to NEVER believe the BS about what is or isn’t attractive. As long as you are bold, brave and hard-working, the world is your oyster, and there is beauty in EVERYONE.
HAPPY ANTI-BULLYING WOMAN CRUSHING WEDNESDAY!