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24 August 2015, 12:27
Hold the phone! Why are people doing this?
The 21 year old Toronto born model has a skin condition called Vitiligo which has resulted in very distinctive facial patterns. Her very unique look has landed her a spot on the pages of Dazed, i-D, and as a model for Diesel brand jeans.
Winnie's place in the industry certainly illustrates how fashion has come to challenge traditional standards of beauty, but some fans have taken the "Winnie Harlow look" to a whole new level.
Winnie harlow (1st pic) who's stunning HAS vitiligo, these WHITE woman are mimicking her look,ITS STILL BLACKFACE WTF pic.twitter.com/tGTl8Dh1PN— Black Girl (@BLVCKMATTERS) August 22, 2015
Understandably, the issue is very multi-layered. Some of her fans are calling this "fan art" blackface, and others say it's simply paying homage to the rising star.
Idk how white people imitating vitiligo of Winnie Harlow is a compliment? Her response of supporting the black face is purely disappointing— nalisa alia amin (@nalisaaa) August 24, 2015
@winnieharlow just wanted to say you are an inspirational, strong beautiful woman! No wonder women of all race & creed want to emulate you!— Georgina ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ (@GG_Estella_xx) August 24, 2015
If you don't have brown skin and you're doing your makeup to make it seem like you have brown skin and vitiligo, is it a compliment or is it a costume? Winnie issued a statement via Instagram and some fans were not happy with her response.
No one wants to "steal" our look here. We've just stood so confidently in our own nappy hair and du-rags and big asses (or in this case, my skin) that now those who don't have it love and lust after it. Just because a black girl wears blue contacts and long weave doesn't mean she wants to be white and just because a white girl wears braids and gets lip injection doesn't mean she wants to be black. The amount of mixed races in this world is living proof that we don't want to be each other we've just gained a national love for each other. Why can't we embrace that feeling of love?Winnie Harlow
So wait..white women are doing black face to resemble Winnie Harlow's vitiligo and she defended them? Is that what I'm seeing............?— Actual Shea Butter (@_BasedMistress) August 22, 2015