Albino Models Making Their Mark, Opening Minds In Africa

Albino Models Making Their Mark, Opening Minds In Africa

Thando Hopa blog picture Photo: Tresumme/Media Image


Beauty is found in all shapes, sizes and colors. It can also be colorless, which is the point being proven and celebrated through a wave of models with albinism — a condition affecting melanin production that results in little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.

In 2010, designer Riccardo Tisci tapped albino model Stephen Thompson for Givenchy’s Spring 2011 campaign and fellow fair-skinned models Shaun Ross and Diandra Forrest have also found success gracing the catwalks and striking a pose for the world’s top design houses. However, the idea of colorless beauty hasn’t been embraced by all — especially not in Africa. In many countries within the continent, individuals with albinism endure persecution and prejudice, and some are even hunted by witch doctors in Tanzania who believe they possess mystical powers that can cure diseases and bring prosperity.

A South African woman named Thando Hopa is attempting to change that.

To see the full cover and find out more about the model, go to BlackVoices.