Canadian model Winnie Harlow was once bullied for her appearance. Labeled "cow" and "zebra," she suffered so much she was forced to pull out of high school. But far from becoming a recluse, Harlow is now on catwalks worldwide and the face of global brands.
Born Chantelle Brown-Young, at the age of four she was diagnosed with vitiligo -- a skin condition that inhibits pigmentation and creates white patches on the body.
Harlow describes dropping out of school as "possibly the best thing that could have happened... I found a rejuvenated sense of self. I learned to love who I am despite what anyone would say about or to me. This gave me the courage to really stand up to anyone or any obstacle in my life."
She created pages on Facebook and Instagram, and began posting images of herself. She was hoping to catch the eye of Tyra Banks, supermodel and the host of popular reality TV series "America's Next Top Model."
Chantelle Brown-Young became a finalist on season 21 of "America's Next Top Model" in 2014. She didn't win but became a fan favorite, voted back into the contest by viewers after exiting earlier in the season.
She now chooses to go by Winnie Harlow -- a name created for her confident alter ego.
Winnie Harlow has walked runways at New York, London and Paris fashion weeks, but doesn't want her popularity to be a mere flash in the pan, acknowledging that whilst "the industry is opening up, [it] still needs to accept various forms of beauty as a standard, as opposed to an occurrence now and then."
Harlow has also worked with big names such as famed British photographer Nick Knight, featuring prominently in Diesel's Spring/Summer 2016 campaign.
Although she praises the fashion industry for widening its perception of beauty, Harlow affirms that it's still not enough. "I want to see different faces on magazines, as the stars of movies, or featured on billboards -- it's time we open the market and embrace people from all walks."