Winnie Harlow, a model and activist, speaks about her struggles with vitiligo — a skin condition that makes her immune system think her melanin, the part of your body that makes the color in your skin, is a disease and fights it off. This makes Harlow’s skin appear white in some places rather than her usual dark complexion.
Harlow discusses how she felt alienated, even by people who attempted to be her ally. For example, her mother trying to cover her skin condition with her, much darker makeup, for family photos. This lead to Winnie feeling uncomfortable and out of place even though her mother was attempting to help her fit in. Another example is when Winnie moved schools in as a child and lost the friends she had made because the other children were warned not to hang out with her in case they “caught” her skin condition.
These experiences in her childhood helped her realize that while other people might be fearful of things they don’t understand or to try and change them to fit into a mold, she could step above that and accept the beauty in everything.
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