5. Nastya Zhidkova
Dubbed by some as “the most beautiful albino in the world”, Nastya Zhidkova suffers from a congenital disorder known as albinism. This is when there is a lack of production of melanin, the pigment that is responsible for colouring your skin, hair and eyes. As a result, these features can appear very pale, which is the case for Nastya Zhidkova. Zhidkova has used her striking complexion to land herself a modelling career and she is not the only albino to do so; Shaun Ross, Stephen Thompson, Connie Chiu and Jewell Jeffrey are only a handful of names who have taken the fashion world by storm and have shown the beauty that comes with albinism. Aside from modelling, Zhidkova likes to sing and has shared her love for singing on YouTube.
4. Nikia Phoenix
Many tend to think that black people can’t have freckles, however, that’s not the case, especially for Nikia Phoenix, who’s face is covered with them. Her striking appearance has secured her a career as a model and she has featured in campaigns for Coca Cola, Target and Alternative Apparel. In addition, Phoenix created her own blog called “Model Liberation” where she provides beauty advice and has also founded “Black Girl Beautiful” which celebrates African American beauty. Phoenix said, “”Being a freckled face, natural haired girl isn’t easy. I’ve always felt different. Because of faith, I’ve been able to embrace who I am and prosper.”
3. Connie Chiu
Born in Hong Kong, Connie Chiu is recognised for being the world’s first albinistic fashion model. Like Nastya Zhidkova (in number 5), Connie Chiu suffers from albinism, which causes her skin, hair and other features to appear very pale. She emigrated to Sweden at a young age where she studied arts and journalism and then went on to pursue a modelling career at the age of 24 after her sister asked her to model at one of her shows. Chiu modelled for fashion photographers like Terry Richardson and Heidi Niemala before modelling for French designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier. In addition to a modelling career, Chiu performs at various clubs and events as a jazz singer.
2. Winnie Harlow
At the age of four, Chantelle Brown-Young or Winnie Harlow, as she’s better known by, started to develop white patches on her stomach which then spread to the rest of her body. She was diagnosed with a prominent form of “vitiligo”, a skin condition where white patches develop on the skin due to a lack of melanin, the very condition that Michael Jackson suffered from… Fun-fact. Harlow’s eye-catching look meant that she was often subject to bullying throughout her childhood and she even contemplated suicide. But thankfully, Harlow was discovered by TV personality, Tyra Banks, who asked her to compete in “America’s Next Top Model” to which she did. After placing sixth overall, Harlow went on to model for the Spanish clothing brand, “Desigual” as well as becoming an ambassador for the brand and she has featured in many fashion magazines including Glamour, Complex and Cosmopolitan. If that wasn’t enough, Harlow has also made appearances in several music videos including Eminem’s “Guts Over Fear” and in a visual music video in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album.
1. Khoudia Diop
19-year-old, Senegalese model, Khoudia Diop is not your average looking person as she possesses a unique skin tone with a melanin-rich colour. Growing up Diop was confronted with bullies and teased because of her dark skin tone, however, that did not stop her from pursuing a modelling career at the age of 17. She participated in a photoshoot for “The Colored Girl Campaign” which aimed at celebrating the beauty of black women of every size, shape and skin tone. The campaign was a huge success and Diop went from around 100 followers on Instagram to now, over 350,000. Her beautifully rich skin tone has helped her become one of the most successful models in the world as well as an inspiration to many. It’s no wonder why she calls herself the “Melanin Goddess”.