How Model Winnie Harlow Went From Being the Target of Bullies to Fashion’s ‘It’ Girl

As a teenager she was bullied and called “cow” and “zebra.”

Via Instagram

Given Winnie Harlow’s childhood, no one would have imagined she would rise to the top of the fashion industry. Born Chantelle Brown-Young in Toronto, Harlow was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of 4. Vitiligo causes the loss of skin pigmentation in blotches as the result of the death of cells that produce melanin. The discoloration often begins on areas exposed to the sun and then slowly progresses throughout the body. In school, Harlow was mercilessly bullied for her disorder. Her classmates taunted her with names like “zebra” and “cow.” “The bullying was so bad that I was forced to drop out and be homeschooled,” Harlow recalls.

Dropping out of high school would become a blessing in disguise for Harlow. She says it “was possibly the best thing that could have happened, because I found a rejuvenated sense of self. I learned to love who I am despite what anyone would say about or to me. This gave me the courage to really stand up to anyone or any obstacle in my life.”

Via Instagram

With her renewed sense of self-confidence she pursued a career in entertainment journalism, but after a chance meeting with a Toronto photographer, her interest turned to modeling. “She encouraged me to continue pushing. From there I started to build myself up by leveraging social media,” Harlow says.

When she learned that America’s Top Model was casting for its 21st cycle, she asked all of her Instagram followers to tag its host/executive producer, Tyra Banks, in their posts to draw attention to her photos. Soon after, she received a message from the show’s producers. “Initially I didn’t believe it, but I followed through and ended up being on the show for season 21,” Harlow says. “After Tyra gave me that opportunity it was my time.” America’s Top Model would introduce Harlow to an international audience and the fashion world at large. Although she came in sixth out of 14 contestants, her incredible photos and personality made a huge impression.

Today, Harlow is the face of Spanish fashion label Desigual and has done some recent shoots for Diesel and Vogue. Harlow sees her success as a way to change the fashion industry’s perception of beauty and to pave the way for others with nontraditional appearances. “I want to see different faces on the covers of magazines, the stars of movies, featured on billboards,” she says. “It’s time we open the market up and embrace people from all walks of life.”


Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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