5 Models in the News for Their Actions, Not Looks

Talent Management
Model Nicole Trunfio (c) Flickr Creative Commons/David Shankbone

Some models are not just inspirational because of the way they look or the clothes they wear. There are some out there that hit the headlines because of the positive or brave things that they do. Talent Management honors these five recent examples.

Breastfeeding Model’s Cover Shoot

Breastfeeding in public continues to be an issue that stirs debate. This didn’t deter model Nicole Trunfio, however, when she posed for Australian Elle magazine.

Inevitably, there have been some negative reactions to the shoot, but many commentators have congratulated Nicole for her bravery, calling her actions ‘empowering’ for mums. There is a natural beauty to the photographs, which show the 29-year-old breastfeeding Zion, her then four-month-old son.

Nicole decided to share the image on Instagram. She said that she wasn’t trying to be controversial; rather she just wanted to ‘normalise breastfeeding’. She also thanked Elle, which hasn’t shied away from other controversial covers, for being ‘bold’ and sending out a positive, encouraging and healthy message.

The breastfeeding shoot was not a contrived idea. There had been no plan for it but Zion needed a feed and Justine Cullen, Elle’s editor-in-chief, says that the natural beauty became clear and the pair were moved onto the set. The resulting powerful image wasn’t destined for news stands, however. An alternative cover adorns the actual magazine, showing Nicole in a black dress simply holding Zion.

A Little Girl with a Big Message

Little Sydney Caraher worried she was becoming a boy when her blonde locks began to fall out. She was devastated by the effects of the alopecia from which she was suffering and rapidly lost confidence.

Move forward to today and Sydney has been crowned as Model Tots champion and has her own modelling contact and, potentially, a doorway into film and television. The five-year-old’s mum Sarah Caraher, from Merseyside believes that her daughter’s win proves that ‘different’ can still be beautiful.

There will be many children out there feeling limited by medical conditions, for example, who will doubtless be inspired by this brave little girl. Far from hiding her issues, Sydney got in front of the lens to show off her inner and outer beauty.

Talent Management can attest to Sydney’s success, as we see firsthand the appeal of and demand for models who truly mirror society’s diversity.

Winnie Beats the Bullies

Sydney could one day follow in the footsteps of successful model Winnie Harlow, who also refused to let her slightly different appearance stand in her way. As a child and then known as Chantelle Brown-Young, Winnie was bullied as a result of vitiligo, which causes some areas of skin to lose its pigment.

Cruel people called her a ‘cow’ as a result of the difference in her skin tones but there is no doubt that the Canadian model is now enjoying the last laugh. It can be difficult for aspiring models to set themselves apart from the crowd, but Winnie’s appearance has become synonymous with her success, just as Cindy Crawford became renowned for her mole. Winnie was placed a very respectable sixth in America’s Next Top Model’s 21st series and has modelled for a wide range of brands, including Diesel.

A Determination to Succeed

Madeline Stewart is a model, a cheerleader and a gymnast. She also has Down’s Syndrome. She has one of the most positive attitudes of anyone in the industry and has embraced her condition as a ‘gift’ rather than a barrier.

This is an 18-year-old who has taken the planet by storm in 2015 through her positive attitude and sheer determination. She lost over 40 pounds by exercising more and cutting out junk food. Madeline is committed to challenging people’s attitudes about disability, whilst demonstrating how beautiful people with Down’s Syndrome can be.

Madeline, of Brisbane in Australia, also suffers from a heart condition but this does not prevent her from enjoying a range of activities, from basketball to modelling. She is now determined to make it into the fashion industry and it’s hard to believe that she will not succeed. Perhaps she will follow in the footsteps of Jamie Brewer, who became the first female Down’s Syndrome sufferer to take the spotlight at New York Fashion Week.

Striving to Prove that Big is Beautiful

The traditional image of the body beautiful is unlikely to change in the immediate future and, for now at least, slim models are still in demand. This did not prevent Tess Holliday from thrusting herself into the limelight, however.

The 29-year-old became what is believed to be the first model wearing a size 22 to sign up with a major agency and she says that the work is flooding in. Tess started out plus-size modelling over a decade ago and has faced her share of knock-backs but she refused to give up on her career dream.