Winnie Harlow responds to those imitating her vitiligo

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My response to this is probably not what a lot of people want but here it goes: every time someone wants fuller lips, or a bigger bum, or curly hair, or braids does Not mean our culture is being stolen. Have you ever stop to realize these things used to be ridiculed and now they're loved and lusted over. No one wants to "steal" our look here. We've just stood so confidently in our own nappy hair and du-rags and big asses (or in this case, my skin) that now those who don't have it love and lust after it. Just because a black girl wears blue contacts and long weave doesn't mean she wants to be white and just because a white girl wears braids and gets lip injection doesn't mean she wants to be black. The amount of mixed races in this world is living proof that we don't want to be each other we've just gained a national love for each other. Why can't we embrace that feeling of love? Why do we have to make it a hate crime? In a time when so much negative is happening, please don't accuse those who are showing love and appreciation, of being hateful. It is very clear to me when someone is showing love and I appreciate these people recreating, loving and broadcasting something to the world that once upon a time I cried myself to sleep over #1LOVE 💋

A photo posted by ♔Chantelle Winnie♔ (@winnieharlow) on

Last week, the Internet went into meltdown as images of white women who appeared to be copying model Winnie Harlow’s vitiligo surfaced on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Many social media users and fans of the Canadian-born model expressed disgust and outrage at the images, with some comparing it to blackface. Winnie took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the matter and cultural appropriation. Her response surprised many.

She revealed that she felt flattered that people were eager to recreate her unique look and equated it to love and appreciation for her beauty.

While it’s great that Winnie continues to raise awareness about her condition, we can’t help but cringe at the fact that some would even consider it appropriate to recreate her vitiligo with make up. It’s very distasteful and insensitive; the model’s condition is not some kind of beauty ‘look’ to be experimented with.

Although her response to the drama may have confused, disappointed and even angered some, Winnie is a young woman working in a tough industry. She wants to live her dream and have a long, successful modelling career and certainly not let the condition she was bullied for as a child stop her.

Hopefully we won’t be seeing fashion publications repeating this so-called “look” on models at all in the future. We would prefer not to see this emulated on a larger scale.

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