Ever since Winnie Harlow (born Chantelle Brown-Young) hit the fashion scene, she's been making waves in the industry.
The 21-year-old Canadian model with vitiligo (a skin condition that causes patches to lose pigment) gained a widespread following during her run on cycle 21 of "America's Next Top Model", and has since posed for the likes of Diesel and Desigual. Though once bullied because of her skin condition, she never allowed it to interfere with her dream of becoming a model, which, in turn, has brought on even more fans and admirers.
To demonstrate their admiration for the model, a number of Harlow's fans, many of them Caucasian, have used makeup to replicate her vitiligo on their own faces. However, this demonstration did not sit well with a large number of her other followers, who interpreted it as an act of appropriation not appreciation, and accused these fans of putting on blackface makeup.
Harlow, however, took to Instagram to defend her fans, claiming that their recreation of her skin condition is not blackface, but a tribute to her unique beauty. She posted the following message:
Some applauded her stance on the matter, however, an overwhelming majority were outraged that she would defend individuals "mimicking a disease and a culture," and called her ignorant:
So Harlow took to Instagram again to defend her position and the individuals who painted their faces to look like hers:
She also noted that individuals of different backgrounds were recreating her vitiligo:
And after facing further backlash for her post, she posted a final defense on Instagram:
Let us know your thoughts on the debate in the comments.
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