Catwalks can sometimes look like a parade of identical people, but then along come the most unusual models in the fashion industry to shake up the norm. These men and women aren’t the typical model type, but they’re walking in plenty of shows, scoring magazine covers and starring in TV series and music videos. These unique models are different shapes and sizes to what we usually see on the runway, and have conditions and disabilities that set them apart from the rest. Discover their fascinating stories in our video about the 10 most unusual fashion models.
Models with disabilities challenge the stereotype of what beauty is, and they are rightly championed for the role they play in creating a greater diversity in the fashion world. Many were bullied at school, but then have the last laugh when they score modeling contracts. Winnie Harlow’s vitiligo and Albino African American model Shaun Ross’ unusual looks set them apart from the usual model aesthetic. And Melanie Gaydos’ rare genetic condition and Madeline Stuart’s Down’s syndrome prove that the modeling industry can embrace difference.
Casey Legler’s has spoken about the importance of accepting difference in her position as a woman who is a male model. And plus-size model Tess Holliday’s body positivity message is making waves. She has received criticism for her size 22 figure, but continues to show the haters they can’t shut her down. On the flip side, slender and tall model Molly Bair has sparked debates about the ‘anorexia chic’ culture once again. One thing’s for certain: when you’re a break from the norm, people sure are going to talk about you.
There are unusual models that are different because they were born that way. And there are unique models that capture the world’s attention because they’ve changed aspects of their appearance as they’ve gone through their lives. One look at Zombie Boy Rick Genest’s tattoos and you’ll never forget him. There aren’t a huge number of other male models that can say the same. Transgender model Andreja Pejic’s journey through life is as interesting as her success in the modeling industry. And Erika Ervin was singled out as being unusual when she was named the world’s tallest model. What she revealed three years later made her story even more unique.