Model Winnie Harlow has always known she was ‘different’, but it wasn’t until she entered the modelling industry that she realised that she could use these differences for a greater good. Since gaining prominence on the 21st cycle of America’s Next Top Model, the 23-year-old has become an advocate for vitiligo acceptance and amassed an impressive portfolio, spanning SHOWstudio to Swarovski. And yet, despite all of these accomplishments, Harlow is adamant about staying true to her roots. “I’m definitely still the same person I always was,” she says. “Travel is hard, but so is waking up at 5am for a shift at a call centre. You just have to learn to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good.”
This ethos, of taking the good with the bad and the bad with the good, is certainly easier said than done. In an industry that still holds white women as the standard for beauty, being a model of colour with vitiligo can be emotionally taxing and physically exhausting. Enter Casper’s latest mattress launch, ‘The Essential’. Inspired by the essential moments of transitioning into adulthood—learning to succeed in your career while still remaining grounded and sane, growing into yourself and realising that you don’t have to please anyone else—it is a mattress with a message that extends far beyond the bedroom.
As the face of ‘The Essential’, Harlow is continuing her mission of self-acceptance and growth—and hopefully inspiring the same in her fans. Check out the exclusive video below to learn more about her journey, and her insistence on not being reduced to any single aspect of her identity: