Winnie Harlow doesn't want to be perceived as a ''vitiligo sufferer'' and just wants people to recognise her as a hard-working model.
Winnie Harlow doesn't want to be seen as a victim because she has vitiligo.
The 23-year-old Canadian catwalk star has is one of the most in-demand models in the fashion industry and has made it with her unique look which is the result of her having the skin condition which causes patches of skin to lose their pigment.
Winnie - who was catapulted to fame by her appearance on 'America's Next Top Model' - was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was four and endured bullying by her classmates at school but she now feels empowered by her condition and insists she is not ''suffering'' with it.
In a post on her Instagram account, she said: ''I'm not a 'Vitiligo Sufferer', I'm not a 'Vitiligo model'. I am Winnie. I am a model. And i happen to have Vitiligo. Stop putting these titles on me or anyone else. I AM NOT SUFFERING! If anything I'm SUCCEEDING at showing people that their differences don't make them WHO they are! All our differences are apart of who we are but they don't define us ... Do you see me suffering? The only thing I'm Suffering from are the closed minds of humans who have one beauty standard locked into their minds when there are multiple standards of beauty! The beach was damn fine that day, nothing to suffer about! [sic]''
Although Winnie is proud she is an inspiration to others with vitiligo, she doesn't want to be seen a ''spokesperson'' for the condition and wants people to do their own research instead of looking to her for answers.
Speaking previously, she said: ''I'm very sick of talking about my skin, I am literally just a human. I have the same brain as you; there's a skeleton under my skin just like yours. It's not that serious.
''I'm not a vitiligo spokesperson just because I have vitiligo ... 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'.''