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20+ Models Who Have Completely Shattered Beauty Standards Everywhere

The days of having to be a tall, thin, white woman in order to be a model are over. The definition of beauty has been (slowly but surely) evolving and becoming more accepting of the fact that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds.

Unfortunately, after many years of women being told by the media what being beautiful looks like, it's taken a lot to push the boundaries of societal standards and open people's minds.

The models on this list are all beautiful, by any definition of the word, and are the faces of change!

Ashley Graham.

There's really never been a doubt in my mind that Ashley Graham is beautiful. But in the eyes of the fashion industry, she isn't, in the conventional runway-model sense.

But she didn't pay the negativity any mind. She pursued her dream and became the first plus-size model to make the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Winnie Harlow.

Winnie has a skin condition called Vitiligo, which caused certain areas of her skin to lose pigmentation.

But she didn't let that stop her from becoming one of the most famous models in the world, after being discovered by Tyra Banks on Instagram.

Andreja Pejic.

Andreja is a Bosnian-Australian model, that came out as a transgender woman in 2003.

Since then, she has become one of the most recognizable transgender models in the world.

Jillian Mercado.

The fashion industry has been a lot more accepting of people of different sizes, skin colors, and sexual orientations.

But Jillian is one of the first people to set an example for and represent models with physical disabilities.

Madeline Stuart.

Madeline is an Australian native, who first became recognized for her incredible weight loss transformation— losing nearly 50 pounds.

From there, her social media following skyrocketed overnight and has since opened the door to her modeling career, making her one of the first fashion models with Down syndrome.

Shaun Ross.

Shaun Ross isn't just a model, he's also an actor and a dancer. A triple threat!

But he's known for being the first male model with albinism.

Moffy Gathorne Hardy.

Moffy is on the Storm Models agency roster — the same agency that hired supermodel, Kate Moss, and is known for being cross-eyed.

She's still absolutely stunning, regardless!

Melanie Gaydos.

Melanie has had to overcome a lot, and thankfully, it's all paid off.

She has a genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia, which prevents teeth, nails, pores, cartilage, and bones from developing.

Against all odds, Melanie did not allow her illness to get in the way of her becoming a model.

Jacky O'Shaughnessy.

Jacky O'Shaughnessy has been shaking up the fashion industry by launching her modeling career in her 60's.

"I'm comfortable. I don't feel that any of this is inappropriate. When people talk about age-appropriate hairstyles, and age-appropriate dressing, well, whose age? And who are you?" she said.

Diandra Forrest.

Diandra has faced the stigmatism of having albinism her entire life, but is still comfortable with herself, and embraces her beauty.

"My eyelashes are really blond, and so are my eyebrows, and like many girls — I’d go in without much makeup — to which agents would say, 'You should always wear mascara.' When you're young, you really take heed to those kind of things people say." she said.

Erika Linder.

Erika has chosen a very unique route in her modeling career.

Instead of modeling as a woman, or a man, she does both.

Masha Tyelna.

Masha has all of the traditional qualities that modeling agencies typically look for: tall, thin, and legs for days. But what makes her unique is her famously large, doll-like eyes.

Hari Nef.

Hari was the very first transgender woman to be signed by IMG Worldwide, and has since generated more success than she ever dreamed possible — setting a huge example for transgender people interested in the fashion industry.

Precious Victoria Lee.

Precious is an African American plus-size model, who's found her success through Instagram, spreading her message of body positivity, self-love, and acceptance.

Carmen Dell'Orefice.

Getty Images | Paul Hawthorne

Carmen is known for being the world's oldest working fashion model.

She launched her career when she was just 15 years old, and hasn't slowed down since.

Lea T.

Getty Images | Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho

Lea is a 38-year-old, Brazilian, Italian, transgender model, and she is the face of the popular, professional hair-care brand Redken.

She got her big break in 2010, when she was cast in a Givenchy ad campaign.

Anita Marshall.

When Anita first tried to start modeling, she was turned down by an agency for being "too fat" and felt too discouraged to keep trying.

But after being goaded by her colleague at Sephora to give modeling one more try, she sent in her photos to Dorothy Combs modeling agency.

Shortly after that, Dorothy personally gave Anita a call, offering her a contract.

Rain Dove.

Rain Dove (who prefers the use of genderless pronouns) is an American model, actor, and activist.

They are best known for posing in high-fashion ad campaigns, posing as both a man and a woman.

Iskra Lawrence.

Iskra is an Aerie model that has found fame through Instagram, promoting natural bodies, and sharing her past struggles with mental health.

Her entire shtick is combatting companies that retouch photos of models, creating unrealistic body standards for women all over the world.

Alex Minsky.

Alex is a retired Marine Corporal. During his first tour of Afghanistan in 2009, a bomb went off, causing him to lose his right leg.

After recovering, he dedicated his life to health and fitness and landed himself a ton of modeling opportunities because of it.

Danika Brysha.

Danika is a plus-size model, who preaches her story and her values on social media— advocating for others that don't fit the mould of how the fashion industry describes and portrays beauty.

Nyakim Gatwech.

Nyakim is a South Sudanese-American model, best known for her dark complexion, and advocating for self-love.

When an Uber driver told her to bleach her skin, she replied: "I would never do that. I consider my skin to be a blessing,”


Tsunaina became an overnight sensation after being discovered by a modeling agency.

Although she is much shorter than what most high-fashion modeling agencies would expect, her beauty is too undeniable to pass up!

These models are a huge inspiration, and a huge part of the movement to change the meaning of beauty.

Everyone is unique, and beautiful in their own way. Just because a Victoria's Secret campaign suggests otherwise, doesn't make it untrue.

But if this keeps up, maybe one day we can live in a world where people feel a whole lot more confident with who they are.