This post is dedicated to some wonderful women who followed their dreams.
Modeling in 2021 is completely different than a few years ago. The values we had had before the pandemic have turned to new ones – first of all, we are more focused on our health, both physical and mental. Due to the long time of isolation, the society is more aware of the diseases such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety. We hear a lot about accepting our bodies regardless of their size and plus size women are starting to have a proper represantation in media. Agencies look for mature models, brands choose people with different skin colors and unique features for their campaigns.
We have been celebrating diversity for a long time, but now it’s getting to a point where it shouldn’t be considered as “activism” anymore, it’s slowly becoming “mainstream”.
Meet 7 models who became the pioneers of the new beauty standards:
1. Ellie Goldstein
British model with Down syndrome who claims to be just like any other girl. I think most healthy people should learn from her determination, discipline, and self-acceptance. A beautiful woman with delicate features (characteristic for her disability) has made a name for herself with a campaign for Gucci. She’s open about the fact that she has always wanted to become famous . She is a supermodel in every single way – unique not only because of an additional chromosome. Beautiful dark hair, rosy cheeks and bright eyes make her simply photogenic. She does not lack anything that a healthy model would have.
2. Diandra Forrest
African-American woman suffering from Albinism, i.e. lack of pigment in her skin, hair and eyes. This results in an exceptional sensitivity to UV radiation and an increased risk of sunburn. Diandra has always wanted to become a model. In high school, when asked where she sees herself in 10 years, she replied “on the runway, at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.” Thanks to her determination, she became the first Albino to sign a contract with such a large agency as Elite Models NY. Her presence in the fashion industry is no longer surprising, she regularly participates in fashion shows.
3. Daphne Selfe
The oldest professional model in the world – she is 92 years young. She started her career in 1949 and does not intend to give it up. She has collaborated with Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren. Even though she exercises three times a week and drinks a lot of water, she says that a positive attitude is the key to looking great. In her opinion, life gets better and better with age.
4. Winnie Harlow
Canadian model suffering from vitiligo, a contestant on the TV series America’s Next Top Model. There’s no need to introduce her, she has been storming the world of fashion for several years now. She made brands and agencies accept models of a similar type of beauty. She represents both women with dark skin and people with her skin condition, who constitute only 1% of the population. She collaborates with the greatest designers, has appeared on the covers of Vogue magazine many times, and her career is only just gaining momentum.
5. Jillian Mercado
A model with muscular dystrophy. Her passion for fashion started in her childhood, when she was watching her mum – a tailor and her dad – a shoe seller. Even the illness could not stop her dreams of becoming a part of this world. She studied at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, then she signed a contract with a large agency in the same city. She has welcomed 2021 with the cover for the Glamor magazine, which wasn’t the first one and certainly won’t be the last. She fights for the rights of people with disabilities, speaks on the most important issues for this community and ensures proper representation in media.
6. Amina Blue
She is only 155 cm tall, with wide feminine hips and tattoos – although she is a beautiful woman, she has heard all her life that she will never become a model. That was until Kanye West noticed her potential back in 2015. Since then, the world of modeling has been good to her. She’s posing for Yeezy, Missguided, and many other brands, plus she has built a large community on her instagram.
7. Ashley Graham
The first plus size model to achieve such fame. A beautiful woman with a wonderful personality who not only poses and walks in fashion shows, but also motivates others to love themselves just the way they are. She caused a revolution in the world of fashion. Although now plus size models are quite common in the fashion campaigns for designer brands, it all started with her presence in the industry. Ashley will definitely go down in history.
Modeling in 2021 has no limits.
The above-mentioned women have found the way to love their imperfections. Brands have also changed their communication with clients, because the society wants to see diversity. There are no beauty standards anymore, there is a place for everyone in the fashion world. Modelling agencies are still looking for mostly tall and slim women, but they are slowly starting to change their ways due to the growing need for “normalizing normal bodies“. I’m really happy to see that self-acceptance and mental helth are becoming “trendy”, let’s hope we’ll see more “trends” like this one in the future.