Albino male model Shaun Ross starts his 'In My Skin I Win' campaign promoting healthy beauty standards.
"I remember when I was a young little boy. There was a little piece of me that never thought that a lot of little things were very possible." This is how male model Shaun Ross starts his TED Talk in London about albinism and beauty standards. Best known for being the first male albino model, Ross never thought of becoming the face for many advertorials, editorials, beauty campaigns and runways.
Ross states, "When I used to be about 6 or 7 years old, my mother never used to allow me to ride anywhere past the stop sign on my street. I was not allowed to go to a friend's house, I wasn't allowed to turn the corner or anything because, when I was younger, a lot of people used to tease me. And I don't come to all of you guys to feel sorry for me, because I don't feel sorry for myself, I don't. I am extremely proud of myself. And I wish that everybody else in this room is proud of themselves as well"
Ross spoke at length about the difficulty of being rejected by society because of his appearance. But, he also made everyone aware of the danger surrounding him at a younger age because he was looking like no one else. While he kept sharing his personal story, he added: 'Throughout the years, things are passing by and you're hearing remarks from family like 'you can do this, you are beautiful, you're extreme' and everything you could imagine. And then, you step outside into the world and you hear something completely opposite: 'you're ugly, you're a disaster, you're a fault or you're kind of a new test tube baby.' These are the things I heard for years so, automatically, when I got approached to do modeling, I never would have thought that I could have been a model because, in my eyes, the way the society painted it for me was that I'm completely wrong. I'm not acceptable and I'm not beautiful."
The 22-year old has decided to start the In My Skin I Win dedicated to embrace the different beauty standards. He first started it as a movement for individuals who have albinism but would like to extend it to every different type of beauty. Watch the all whole video below and discover a gallery featuring Shaun Ross above. If you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #inmyskiniwin.