It’s hard to believe there have already been 21 cycles of Tyra Banks’ hit reality TV show, America’s Next Top Model. Over the past 11 years, Tyra has elevated the careers of countless model hopefuls and even taken a few of the winners to international heights, serving as the platform for getting them global exposure.
While we have seen our share of regular, plus-size, short and even male models throughout the seasons of ANTM, one of the contestants on this current season stands out; 19 year old Chantel Harlow.
Harlow was born with an autoimmune disease called vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of parts of the skin, resulting in basically spots over the individual’s body. Harlow is a public advocate for the disease and for young people accepting the skin their in, flaws and all. She has been very vocal about the fact that she was bullied as a child, but has now used an amazing sense of self and inner confidence to turn her condition into her strongest asset, making it her trademark in the modeling and fashion world.
I personally am a huge fan and supporter of this beautiful young woman, since as a young woman who has undergone over 20 surgeries and now carries daily reminders of the disease I beat through my large scars, I too am very familiar with being criticized for physical imperfections. I am all for Chantel proving that just because you may not have typical beauty, doesn’t mean you are any less beautiful.
I will definitely been tuning in every Monday at 9pm EST to the CW to watch this superwoman.