South African Lawyer Thando, Bullied & Spat On For Being Albino Becomes A Model & Challenges Conventional Beauties!

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Thando Hopa

Thando Hopa is a  25 years old woman from Johannesburg, South Africa. She a is a professional lawyer but was persuaded to enter the world of modelling to try and challenge conventional perceptions of beauty and hopefully change peoples attitudes towards albinism. Thndo faced  bullying, superstition and prejudice over her pale appearance. This is not new to most Albinos in Africa.

She said: ‘I eventually decided beauty is a decision and I am going to be beautiful despite what people say. My tagline now is “a different shade of normal”

But outside the sanctuary of her family home, just like many other Albinos, she often encountered prejudice and misunderstanding. Superstitious strangers hugged her as a symbol of good luck, others spat to fight her bad luck.  Teachers misread her poor eyesight – a side effect of albinism – as her being mentally challenged. 

Thando Hopa South African Model

She told the BBC World Service: ‘My parents had tried hard not to make me feel different but when I went to school kids started acting very awkwardly towards me. They would call me names and as time progressed I noticed people who were older would do things I wouldn’t understand. 

‘Once when I was about seven a woman stopped me in the street and started screaming saying I was the devil’s child. ‘I felt so isolated, it affected me so heavily and I told my mother I wasn’t going to school anymore.’ 

As someone who shuns heels, she said her first jaunt down the catwalk wearing stilettos was terrifying, especially as her condition hinders her eyesight. She recalls: ‘The dress was gorgeous – black and green. I can tell you, I have never felt so expensive in my life. 

‘But I was actually so scared because in essence that was the first time I really walked in heels. I was even saying a little prayer when I was walking, “God, please don’t let me fall on this catwalk!’ I was absolutely frightened.”‘

Thanks to her modelling, Thando said her confidence has soared following a lifetime of feeling she had to hide her pale skin away under clothes and heavy make-up. 

She said: ‘I could never go out without make-up but as time goes on, your confidence just grows. It took years for me to get to a point where I could walk around without make-up.’

She also delighted at the effect her modelling has had on others. ‘People tell me I have become a positive influence for their children, for them to see that they can go beyond their circumstances,’ she added.

More Pictures:

Thando

Albino Model Thando

 

 

Source: Daily Mail 

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