So often it’s the brands that are applauded for hand-picking unique models over the traditional types. But what about celebrating the hard work and talent of the actual women and men who work tirelessly in order to score gigs in an industry than can be less than kind, especially for those who don’t have a cookie-cutter look?
One model deserving of such props is Diandra Forrest. The 27-year-old has been named the new face of Wet n Wild, an LA-based beauty brand (you might remember using its nailpolish back in the ’90s), and she looks fierce.
But Forrest isn’t your typical blonde-haired, blue-eyed pose striker. Nope, she’s albino–a model and albinism activist.
Forrest snagging the leading spot sends an important message to young people everywhere: what makes you different is what also makes you uniquely you. But growing up looking different than her peers wasn’t easy for her. “I had a modeling coach when I was 14 or 15. He was so mean, [and would say things] like, ‘You’re too odd, you will never be a model’,” she told Refinery29.
That modeling coach couldn’t have been more wrong. Forrest went on to be signed by a major modeling agency, starred in a Beyonce video in 2013, was the cover model for Ebony magazine in 2015, walked at New York Fashion Week, and now, is the new face of Wet n Wild.
The 27-year-old is also a mama to a baby girl, Rain.
“My mom was always there to let me know that I’m beautiful no matter what,” Forrest said. “Uplift your children and give them self-esteem so they’re not growing up looking for a compliment elsewhere. I plan on teaching Rain the same thing.”
What better way to teach young minds about diversity than leading by example.