In My Beauty, fashion and culture’s most compelling faces reveal in their own words what the idea of beauty means to them
Less than 1% of the world’s population have vitiligo, yet as one rising model is proving, the markings left by this skin condition can truly be a thing of beauty. Chantelle Brown-Young is the Toronto-born star with a succession of high-profile campaigns and fashion magazine editorials, not to mention a starring role in America’s Next Top Model. Here, Chantelle – known to her friends as Winnie – explains what it’s like to be one of the most exciting and recognisable faces on the planet.
“I’ve always been confident. Perhaps not about my skin in particular, but there was a love for myself. That’s always been part of who I am. There were times when I was younger when my skin would get me down. My mom would lightly dust some makeup on me to make me feel better, but I felt it made me stand out in a way that I didn’t want, so she stopped doing it.
“I’m my mom’s more rambunctious mini-me. She’s calmer than I am. She taught me to walk away when people are rude to you. I’ve had to remind myself of that again now that I’m in the public eye.
“Low confidence comes from paying too much attention to what other people think. When you realize that people are being hateful because of ignorance, or because they are not used to seeing something, it takes the edge off. You have to realize that it’s the other person who has the problem. As I get older, I focus on doing the things that make me feel beautiful. Like having a long shower at the end of the day and applying a face mask. It’s a simple thing but it makes all the difference.
“When you realize that people are being hateful because of ignorance, or because they are not used to seeing something, it takes the edge off.”
“I’m not much of a performer, but I’m very comfortable in front of a camera. I was always getting my mom to do photo shoots of me as a kid. I hope that through my work, people who have vitiligo with a passion to do something, won’t let it hold them back. Modelling isn’t for everyone, I just happen to enjoy it. It doesn’t mean other girls with vitiligo should necessarily follow my exact path, but I want them to feel empowered through my story.”