Winnie Harlow Tells 'Elle Canada' She Prefers To Be Called An Inspiration, Not A Role Model!
“I feel like I am an inspiration. That’s the word I prefer,” the 22-year-old model-on-the rise told the mag. “I don’t believe that I have to be a role model, someone to be emulated. My mom inspires me, and I take great things from her, but there are things from my mom 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.”
On feeling comfortable in her own skin: “As a child, I really hated it. I think, regardless of my skin condition, my mom 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 mom 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 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.’”
For more from Winnie, visit ElleCanada.com!