The modelling industry is difficult to break into in 2021. From modelling to their activism behind the camera, these female models make it look easy.
Society is ever growing and changing. And the media is slowly recognising the importance of change in female representation. Despite past reluctance, the modelling and fashion industries are learning and becoming inclusive to all women of different sizes, shapes, colour and ethnicity.
The possibilities for breakout models is exciting in the current climate. It is time to appreciate the top breakout models rattling the foundations of the modelling industry – and we have the list.
Studies have shown that approximately one in 17,000 people are born with albinism. Diandra Forrest was once teased for her unconventional skin colour. Yet now the albino African-American model has become famous for it.
Forrest had been scouted after a seemingly ordinary shopping day in New York. Not long afterwards she became the first model with albinism to be signed to a major modelling agency.
Now, Diandra has been featured in editorials including Culture Magazine and Glamour. While also walking the runway for Vivienne Westwood and appearing in Kanye West’s ‘Power’ video.
After uploading some selfies to social media, Donna went viral. V Management quickly discovered her effortless beauty. As a young Black Muslim woman, her appearance made her stand out among the crowd of fellow models.
The lack of representation in high fashion magazines and runways poorly reflects real women in society. Without compromising her faith, Donna challenges prejudice and works to abolish the stigma surrounding women like her. When asked about her success, the Somali model told The Cultural Omnivore that,
“Navigating through the industry can be very tricky and I want to make sure that I do my part for Hijab wearing models who want to contribute to the fashion industry in the future.”
The Brazilian transgender model is undoubtedly transforming how the industry perceives gender inclusivity. Despite her first modelling job being abruptly cancelled due to her being transgender, she has refused to give up.
In 2017, she became the first transgender model to be included in Vogue Paris. Not long after Vogue Brazil and Vogue Germany discovered Valentina’s talent and booked her for their editorials. Roughly two years later, Sampaio joined Victoria’s Secret in the VS Pink back-to-back campus campaign. Afterwards she tackled the male gaze by modelling for Sports Illustrated.
The American plus sized model first entered the industry at age 15. But it wasn’t until Marquita walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Spring/Summer collection in 2011 when the modelling industry started paying attention.
Since Pring’s breakout, she has been using her platform to fight against the limitations placed on plus-sized models, working alongside other curvy models like Ashley Graham and Crystal Renn. In 2020, Marquita became the rookie for the Swimsuit Issue in Sports Illustrated.
The era of using Photoshop in editorials and exclusively selecting slim Caucasian models for runways is over. The modelling industry has a significant power over how women see their self-worth. But society is putting a stop to the one sided perception. With the future of the modelling industry in the hands of women of all sizes, shapes and colours there will be a greater acceptance of the same women in real life. The women previously mentioned are all different on the outside, yet all fight to achieve one goal: achieving equality in the modelling industry.
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