It’s possible to be body positive and also acknowledge that some body types are put on a pedestal in our society while others are treated like dirt. Slender bodies, able-bodies, light-skinned bodies, cis-gender bodies…there is an ideal that is set as the standard for beauty. Let’s be real: That’s BS, but it’s a BS standard that is the standard in the world of fashion and modeling.
That’s why we’re celebrating these seven awesome models whose presence in the fashion world is screwing this rigid status quo. Seriously, it’s damn near impossible not to fall in love and be inspired by them.
1) Winnie Harlow
Winnie Harlow has Vitiligo, a condition that slowly wipes away pigment of the skin. If your first thought is Michael Jackson, you’re right in believing that he, too, suffered from this condition. Vitiligo has definitely made her stand out, but she grew to embrace the condition that made her feel so self conscious as a kid. Now she’s been on America’s Next Top Model, she’s rockin’ runways and photoshoots and is posting the most dope selfies on Instagram. She’s definitely work a follow
2) Jillian Mercado
Jillian is just as gorgeous, poised and alluring as any model out there. Also, I can assure you that she is actually incredibly rad in real life, too. The only catch–if one would call it that–is that she has spastic muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair to navigate the world. But that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a model. You may have peeped her in a campaign for Diesel. She was recently signed with Red Model Management. This woman is a major inspiration.
3) Carmen Carrera
You might know Carmen from season three of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. During her time on the show she identified as a man, but today she IDs as a transgender woman. Not only is she an amazingly gorgeous model, but she’s also a fearless advocate of LGBT rights and trans specific issues. Seriously, she is no stranger to telling it like it is on social media or YouTube. She has a voice and she knows how to use it. Rock on, girl.
4) Nadia Aboulhosn
This blogger and model is really making waves in this size conscious industry. Is Nadia the only curvy or plus size model in the industry? No. But her increasing presence in the fashion world is definitely changing the way the industry frames sizing.
5) Viktoria Modesta
Due to a hospital accident at birth, Viktoria dealt with problems with her left leg for her entire life. When she was 19-years-old, she decided to have it amputated. Today, she is a singer, songwriter and model who proves that you can look unbelievably badass as an amputee. She even calls herself a “bionic woman.” Rad.
6) Erika Linder
Erika is the definition of gender queer. As she says on her Twitter profile, ” I have too much imagination to just be one gender.” She’s an androgynous model who plays male and female roles in photoshoots. Yep, male and female roles. Hows that for an eff you to gender roles?
7) Jacky O’Shaughnessy
You don’t see many 62-year-old lingerie models do you? Well, meet Jacky O’Shaughnessy, who is rockin’ lingerie and other outfits for American Apparel. Yes, American Apparel of all places. Can we talk about how amazing she looks? Can we talk about how there should totally be more old women in the fashion industry? Yes, let’s talk about that.
8) Brunette Moffy
Moffy is a cross-eyed model who was signed to Storm Models, the same agency that birthed Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Andrej Pejic and Cara Delevingne. She doesn’t seem to have an Instagram account or a Twitter handle, but staring at all of her gorgeous pictures in Google images is enough to fall in love with her.
What other kids of models would you love to see in the fashion industry? ARe there any other unconventional models that you love? Tell us in the comments!