Finally the fashion world is discovering what we have known for ages that-Beauty is found in all shapes, sizes and colors. It also can be colorless, which is the point being proven and celebrated through a wave of models with albinism — a condition affecting melanin production that results in little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.
Models like Thando Hopa, 23, Stephen Thompson and Refilwe Modiselle, 27 are just a few albino models making their names known in the fashion world. Fellow fair-skinned models Shaun Ross and Diandra Forrest have also found success gracing the catwalks and striking a pose for the world’s top design houses.
However, the idea of colorless beauty hasn’t been embraced — especially not in Africa. In many countries within the continent, individuals born with albinism endure persecution and prejudice, and some are even hunted by witch doctors as they believe that albinos have mystical or disease curing powers.
The South African model Thando Hopa is attempting to change that. Hopa who has been deemed “the new face of fashion” and “fashion’s new colour.”
[“I now realize that I have a platform to inspire young girls, and as someone who never had a role model who looked like me when I was growing up, I now hope to be able to show that albinism can be beautiful and is just another kind of normal,” says Hopa.] We think they are Beautiful, simply beautiful!