15 Things To Know About Diandra Forrest & Shaun Ross – The Age Of Beautiful Black Albino Models
Black individuals have the burden of facing issues of discrimination for being too light-skinned, or too dark-skinned. But what happens when you don’t fit on either end of that spectrum, and are even more of a pariah in society? Shaun Ross and Diandra Forrest are African-American models both have albinism. One in 17,000 people has the condition, which is a genetic disorder characterized by loss of pigment in the hair, skin, and even eyes sometimes. People with albinism lack melanin, the substance which colors your skin and hair. These Albino models challenge beauty standards, along with diversifying the fashion world. They are inspiring role models to those who are different and have been bullied for it, all over the world.
1. Shaun Ross is the first Afro-American male model born with Albinism, and started killing the game by entering the professional modeling world at just 16 years old. And he’s a New York native, born in the Bronx.
2. His mom gave birth to him on the highway on the way to the hospital.
3. He has been featured in photo-editorial campaigns in fashion publications including British GQ, Italian Vogue, i-D Magazine, Paper Magazine and Another Man. He has modeled for Alexander McQueen and Givenchy.
4. He also is a player in the underground ballroom scene in NYC, where he can be seen vogueing like a boss.
5. When he grew up, he was bullied, being called “Casper”, “white bread” ,”weird” and other offensive terms. But he refers to himself as a “confident outcast” always accepting himself and not letting the judgment of others get to him. He uses the social media tag #MySkinIWin to spread the message of self-love.
6. His idols are Janet and Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Beyonce, who he got to work with! He was in the Pretty Hurts video for Beyonce, playing a cruel beauty pageant coach. He’s also been in a Katy Perry video for E.T.
7. He admits that he used to wear sunglasses all the time because he thought it was cool to walk into clubs at night with sunglasses. But he admitted the real reason was because he was insecure and couldn’t look people straight in the eyes.
8. Diandra Forrest was also born in the Bronx in NYC, like her fellow Albino model Shaun Ross. She was also in Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts”!
9. Her hair is naturally blond, and her eyes are green, with milky white skin and distinctly African features, making her a stunning woman to look at.
10. But she’s grateful for her unique hybrid look, with the intriguing quote: “I’m the symbol of racial unity. I’m a black girl who lives in the skin of a white person and that alone should embody what a human being as a whole should represent.”
11. She was bullied like Shaun, and was so traumatized by being bullied in school that her parents took her out and moved her to the New York Institute For Special Education where she got to be surrounded by other individuals with albinism.
Diandra Forrest, Shaun Ross
12. She was discovered by a young photographer named Shameer Khan, who scouted her when she was out shopping on 34th street, and she eventually joined Elite Models NY after some test shoots.
13. She’s the first model to be signed to a major modeling agency. She’s been on many magazine covers and TV specials, and works as a humanitarian.
14. She’s worked for famous clients like Vivienne Westwood, and Jean Paul Gaultier, and MAC. She also works with an organization in Tanzania called Assisting Children in Need, which helps fight discrimination against Tanzania’s albino community.
15. For her future aspirations and ambitions, it’s not all about fame for Diandra. On her activism, she says: “I’d like to be known as a model, and for all my other achievements, not for being albino.”