They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But in the fashion industry, no one can escape the harsh homogeneous stereotyping and boxed ideas of what it means to be beautiful: fair-skinned, proportioned, tall, and lean.
The following models, however, are challenging the social constructs we have grown accustomed to, redefining our definition of what is attractive. They strut to the beat of their own drum and embrace their uniqueness. Their individuality, after all, is what truly makes them beautiful. Scroll down and get to know them.
Stav Strashko and Hari Nef
While it was Andreja Pejic and Lea T. who paved the way for transgender models like Hari Nef and Stav Strashko, these two models are changing the whole conversation on trans models. Both of them keep turning heads as active voices of the minority they belong to.
I-Hua is Maybelline’s first Taiwanese model and the first Asian to represent the brand on a global scale. On the job, she learned how to love her own features instead of comparing and changing herself according to society’s standards of beauty.
Bhumika Arora and Pooja Mar
Coming from a largely populated country, these two Indian models are shattering the illusions of beauty and making their own mark globally.
Being the first albino African-American to walk on major runways like Givenchy and Alexander McQueen, Shaun Ross is a brand in his own right. What makes him even more beautiful is his self-acceptance.
Winnie Harlow proves that a model of many colors can also succeed in the biz.
Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday
These women are making a statement that models should not only be a size zero. As Ashley says, “I am a model, and I don't need my job title to explain the dimensions of my body.” We couldn’t agree more!
Carmen Dell Orefice
Carmen’s beauty knows no age as she has been slaying the modeling scene since 1947! She’s the triumph-over-tragedy story, being a child of poor immigrant parents rising and staying in the fashion industry for 70 years.
Madeline is making a huge impact in the world of fashion. This young model will teach you that no disability can hinder you from reaching your goals.
Photos from @harinef, @stavstrashko, @_ihua_, @bhumika_arora04, @poojamor, @shaundross, @winnieharlow, @theashleygraham, @tessholliday, @madelinesmodelling_ on Instagram
Main image from Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images