Winnie Harlow is a Canadian fashion model, spokesperson and activist. She gained prominence as a contestant on the twenty-first cycle of the US television series America’s Next Top Model.
Winnie Harlow is the latest cover girl for ELLE Canada‘s February issue, hitting newsstands on January 5, 2017!
Winnie talks about the word role model and how she dislikes been called a role model.
“I feel like I am an inspiration. That’s the word I prefer,” the 22-year-old model told the mag. “I don’t believe that I have to be a role model, someone to be emulated. My mum inspires me, and I take great things from her, but there are things from my mum that I would never do. So I don’t have my mother as a role model, but I do have her as a huge inspiration.”
Here are some excerpts from the interview below:
On feeling comfortable in her own skin:
“As a child, I really hated it. I think, regardless of my skin condition, my mum is very conservative with dressing—like, when she’s helping me do laundry and she sees a thong, she’s like, ‘What is this dental floss in your laundry basket?’ With my skin, I have to avoid direct contact with the sun, so that combined with my mum being conservative meant I grew up wearing stockings under shorts and long sleeves under tank tops. It was kind of embedded in me that I was supposed to be covering up. As I grew up, people would still stare, but, I don’t know, me feeling uncomfortable just disappeared. I’d be walking out with friends and they’d be like, ‘Don’t you feel everyone staring?’ and I’d be like, ‘No, I actually don’t. I just don’t care.’”
On not being a spokesperson for her skin condition vitiligo:
“I’m very sick of talking about my skin. I’m just living life. And if that inspires you, I’m proud, but I’m not going to put pressure on myself to be the best person in the world and tell everyone I have vitiligo. If you want to know about it, you can do your research. Either way, I’m not in the dictionary under ‘vitiligo.’”
Check out some photos from the cover story below: