Some Awesome People

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Albino models setting the trend for Africa

26 October 2012 

Albino models setting the trend for Africa

By Kate Forbes BBC News, Johannesburg

Backstage amidst the chaos of Africa Fashion Week in the South African city of Johannesburg one woman sits quietly in a corner.

Other models and designers from across the continent dash from one end of the tent to the other - there seems to be an unofficial competition to see who can make the most noise.

Yet despite her silence, US albino supermodel Diandra Forrest is still the most noticeable person in the room.

With a complete lack of pigment in her hair or skin, the New Yorker who grew up in the city's mainly black Bronx community is used to sticking out a mile.

Around one person in 17,000 is born with the genetic disorder, which can also cause blindness.

But she knows that her presence at Africa Fashion Week has a much greater significance than just challenging ideas of what is beautiful.

In some African countries, particularly in East Africa, people with albinism are at risk of abduction and mutilation, as their body parts are believed by some to make potions and rituals more powerful. (...)

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