No one wants to be labeled and Winnie Harlow sent a not-so-friendly reminder about how problematic it is to do so to one tabloid that incorrectly — and insensitively — labeled her a “vitiligo sufferer.”
The Evening Standard published a story yesterday about the model vacationing on the beach, which should’ve been a good thing. But in their caption for the photo they pulled from her Instagram account, the paper wrote, “Winnie Harlow is seen going for a paddle in the sea off the coast of Dubai in a series of snaps which the Canadian vitiligo sufferer, 23, posted to her Instagram page.” When Winnie saw the coverage, she was clearly offended by the “vitiligo sufferer” remark and she didn’t hesitate to let the paper know as much.
In an Instagram post sharing the paper’s caption, she wrote:
@email@example.com and all other tabloids, magazines and people who write articles on me PSA: I’m not a “Vitiligo Sufferer”. I’m not a “Vitiligo model”. I am Winnie. I am a model. And i happen to have Vitiligo. Stop putting these titles on me or anyone else. I AM NOT SUFFERING! If anything I’m SUCCEEDING at showing people that their differences don’t make them WHO they are! All our differences are apart of who we are but they don’t define us! I’m sick of every headline ending in “Vitiligo Sufferer” or “Suffers from Vitiligo”. Do you see me suffering? The only thing I’m Suffering from are your headlines and the closed minds of humans who have one beauty standard locked into their minds when there are multiple standards of beauty! The beach was damn fine that day, nothing to suffer about! 🙄👉🏽
We hear you sis. It doesn’t appear that the paper has apologized to Winnie or taken heed of her message, however, but we can’t say we’re surprised. This is the same UK publication that airbrushed Solange’s braids this past October when she appeared on the cover of their magazine. Maybe if they get dragged enough by influential Black women, they’ll finally get it.