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‘America’s Next Top Model’ alum sparks conversation about blackface

There's a difference between appreciation and appropriation.


Marisa Kabas


Posted on Aug 24, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 2:41 am CDT

As a young girl, model Winnie Harlow says she cried herself to sleep because of her skin condition. Now people are trying to emulate her unique look by donning what some consider blackface, and Harlow has been forced to defend the people celebrating her.

Harlow appeared on cycle 21 of America’s Next Top Model in 2014 under the name Chantelle Brown-Young. The Toronto native came in fifth place in Tyra Banks’s modeling competition, and challenged traditional beauty standards with her different-colored skin as a result of a condition called vitiligo.

But her initial post still failed to silence some critics.

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So she posted on Instagram again, this time with perhaps even more fire and resolve in her stance.

H/T E! | Photo via @winnieharlow/Instagram

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*First Published: Aug 24, 2015, 6:04 pm CDT