Tyra Banks discovered the aspiring model on Winnie Harlow’s Instagram, and she subsequently became one of the fourteen finalists of the twenty-first cycle in 2014. Harlow was eliminated in the second week of the finals, but went on to participate in a separate competition called the “comeback series.” In this side series, she continued to participate in the cycle’s photo shoots along with other eliminated contestants in hopes of returning to the competition. After completing the comeback series, it was revealed that she had received the highest average public vote score and returned to the show. She was eventually eliminated again in episode 13, placing sixth overall.
It is no wonder why Tyra Banks feels emotional watching the budding model gain more exposure and expand her modeling career, as Banks started Harlow on her journey as a top model. Following her elimination from America’s Next Top Model, Winnie Harlow modeled for the Spanish clothing brand Desigual, and quickly became their official brand representative. From there, the Canadian-born model went on to walk in London Fashion Week, modeled for Italian clothing brand Diesel, and appeared in numerous magazines internationally.
Winnie Harlow’s Skin Condition, Vitiligo
Winnie Harlow was diagnosed with vitiligo around the age of four, making her one per cent of the population who has the condition. Michael Jackson, who also famously suffered from the same skin condition, explained that his pale complexion was a result of the lack of melanin in his skin. Growing up with vitiligo was hard for Harlow, she was bullied at school and nicknamed zebra because of the white patches covering her face and body.
In speaking with Cosmopolitan magazine, Harlow talked about her skin condition, “’I get comments that I am a leper. I control how my skin changes, I bleach my skin, my skin’s burned. None of those are true. If one day I’m all black I’m still a model. If one day I’m all white I’m still a model. I am not my skin. I am a model with a skin condition.” Winnie Harlow’s makeup routine is always kept simple now to emphasize her skin condition rather than hide it like she tried to do in her earlier years.