After a childhood spent being called “zebra” and “cow” because of her skin condition, Chantelle Brown-Young is ready for her close-up. And it’s going to be on a really grand scale.
The 19-year-old Toronto resident was chosen as a contestant for the summer installment of “America’s Next Top Model.”
“A lot of people have a story and a background, but mine is painted on my body,” she says in her “plea video“ (seen above).
Brown-Young, aka Winnie Harlow, has the pigment disorder called vitiligo, which Michael Jackson reportedly had. Vitiligo affects .5 to 1 percent of the world’s population, and there is no cure.
She said in a 2011 video (below) that the vitiligo began to materialize at age 4, and she went through some painful times before she began to own it. “I have my flaws but I embrace them,” she said in the segment, called “Vitiligo: A Skin Condition not a Life Changer.”
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At her lowest point she pondered suicide, according to the Jamaican outlet Gleaner. She later got involved in modeling and appeared in photo shoots and magazines. Then came her biggest opportunity: a shot at fulfilling a “dream” to become “America’s Next Top Model.” The CW reality show, hosted by Tyra Banks, previously awarded a $100,000 national ad campaign, modeling contract, magazine shoot and other prizes to the winner.
Chantelle’s mother, Lisa Brown, said to The Gleaner, “I am just so thrilled with my daughter’s turnaround, with her new level of confidence.”
Check out stunning pictures of Chantelle from her Instagram: