Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and builds. It's not about perfection or mainstream standards – but literally about being who you are every day and trying to love yourself from the inside and out. 

Here are 27 beautiful people who set their own beauty standards, and prove that being unique is the only beauty standard anyone has to live up to.


Winnie Harlow

Model Winnie Harlow has been killing the modeling industry since she first debuted on Cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model as the show's first model with vitiligo. 

Since then, she's modeled for top designers, in major fashion shows, and has over 2 million followers on Instagram — all while calling attention to the beauty of people who have vitiligo. 


Nyma Tang

Nyma Tang is a BEAUTY *and* a beauty influencer. 

She promotes the inclusion of people with deep dark skin and shows that women with deep skin tones deserve a stake in the beauty industry. 

Follow her on Youtube to catch lovely makeup tutorials and her Darkest Shade series, which tests the deepest foundation shades of different beauty brands to see just how well (or terribly) they serve dark-skinned makeup lovers.


Lauren Elyse

Lauren Elyse is a makeup artist known for inspiring the world by incorporating her vitiligo spots into her makeup looks. 


Diandra Forrest

Model Diandra Forrest is all about breaking barriers for people with albinism — in fashion and society in general. She has been VERY open about how the fashion industry shunned her in the beginning of her career and how hard she worked to let *herself*in the door. 

She's also been adamant about people with albinism not being defined by the condition. "My albinism is a part of me—and it’s beautiful—but it’s not all of me," she told Glamour.

As of October 2017, she's also the newest face of Beauty Breaking Barriers campaign with the cosmetics company Wet N Wild.


Melanie Gaydos

Melanie Gaydos has modeled for iconic photographers (um, Tim Walker!) and been featured in magazines like Galore and i-D. She shares not only her passion for fashion, posing, and art — but also her experience living with  Ectodermal dysplasia (ED). 

ED is a combination of over 150 different syndromes. It can cause the absence or abnormality of hair, teeth, nails, fingers, and irregular skin pigmentation. Because of ED, Melanie Gaydos is partially blind and has alopecia. 

She's made it her business to encourage the fashion industry to embrace unique looks and accept that beauty comes in different ways. Follow Gaydos on Instagram for all the inspiration and beauty you can handle!



Rapper Lizzo is ALL about taking pride in and flaunting her curves, big curly hair, and deep golden brown skin. She's a self-described "BBW" (big booty woman) and also encourages her fans to love themselves at their own size.

"Damn, I'm out here looking as beautiful as you are," she captioned an Instagram butt selfie. Sigh.

Everything she is goes directly against mainstream beauty standards. And Lizzo ain't sorry!  


Viola Davis

Actress Viola Davis is a Hollywood icon. She puts on for the dark-skinned, natural-haired beauties out there every time she steps out flaunting her beauty without apology. A New York Times writer described her as "not classically beautiful" in 2014 — a quote that pretty much sums up what much of mainstream America thinks of a dark skinned women.

Every time Viola Davis slays a red carpet with her kinky natural hair and rich, deep skin — she's sticking up a classy middle finger to that thinking, and encouraging the rest of us to do the same.


Amara La Negra

Amara La Negra is a proud Afro-Latina who shares her experience with bullying for being a dark-skinned, Black, and a proud Latina. 

The entire world witnessed some of this bullying when she was called "Nutella Queen" and told her afro wasn't "elegant" by a racist producer on the VH1 show, Love & Hip-Hop Miami. 

Amara has only used the experience to double UP on her Afro-Latina and natural hair pride! She's a beautiful inspiration to multiple marginalized groups, no matter what that trash producer has to say.


Nikia Phoenix

Nikia Phoenix is a model who flaunts her freckles as a beloved beauty asset, despite a society that erroneously views them as flaws. Phoenix also talks about her experience accepting her freckles and embracing her natural hair.


Gabi Gregg

Gabi Gregg, better known as Gabi Fresh, isn't just a plus-size blogger who advocates size inclusion on Instagram. She also aims to be the change she wants to see and has created a swimwear line for plus sizes.


Harnaam Kaur

Harnaam Kaur is a woman who embraces her full beard and smashing stereotypes while she's at it.

"Long gone are the days when bearded ladies were thrown into freak shows and made to work in circuses," she captioned a photo of herself modeling on Twitter. "Fuck that!"


Caitlin Stickels 

Caitlin Stickels' features are due to Schmid-Fraccaro syndrome (also called cat eye syndrome). Cat Eye syndrome is a chromosomal condition that creates a downward turn of the eyes and an absence of tissue in the pupils — which creates a cat-like look. 

Stickels got her big break when photographer Nick Knight found her on Instagram and invited her to pose for a V magazine shoot. Since then, she's been killing beauty standards one gorgeous image at a time!


Mama Cax

Mama Cax is an influencer and model known for her gorgeous beauty shots! She is also an advocate for body positivity


Sara Geurts

Sara Geurts is a 26-year-old model defying ageist beauty standards every day. She was born a rare skin condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which slows down collagen production — causing skin to become delicate and wrinkled at a young age.

Geurts is determined to promote body positivity and encourage the inclusion of more people in ad campaigns who have disorders.


Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe is a plus-size, dark-skinned woman who spits on beauty standards and size discrimination every chance she gets. She's also known to serve face and BAWDY in some pretty cool magazine spreads. 

Grab her memoir "This Is My Face: Try Not To Stare" ($14.50, Amazon) to learn more about her journey of acceptance and to experience her rip the covers off of discrimination with her first-person experiences.


Shaun Ross

 You may recognize Shaun Ross from his appearances in Beyoncé's "Pretty Hurts" video. He's also hit many high fashion runways and joined Instagram's inclusive Runway for All campaign. 

"I remember when I first entered the industry all I saw were models that looked the same," he reflected in a statement about the Instagram campaign

"Now here we are almost 10 years later, and I see the choice I’ve made has helped the industry to see beauty in many ways, such as casting models and rising icons like @winnieharlow@jilly_peppa and more to help lead the fight with me to diversity.” 


Jillian Mercado

Jillian Mercado first hit the scene when she landed a modeling contract with Diesel jeans and her career skyrocketed when she modeled for Beyoncé's Formation clothing line. She developed muscular dystrophy as a toddler and has used a wheelchair since she was 12. 

Her disability has not stopped her from slaying ad campaigns and showing how necessary it is to include people with ALL physical abilities.


Slick Woods

Slick Woods is bald and Black and bold and beautiful! She's one of the new faces of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty brand and has totally changed the game in a LOT of ways. 

Her lovely presence is the destroyer of myths about big lips being unattractive AND about women needing to have hair to be beautiful.

Thanks to her and Fenty Beauty, when you Google "beauty" — you see a woman of color representing flawlessly!


Yulianna Yussef 

Yussef has CMN, or congenital melanocytic nevus, which has given her birthmarks all over her body, including a large one on her torso. She has opened up about being bullied for having a different look and shared a LOT about her journey to self-acceptance. 

Though she stresses she is not a model, she intentionally posts pictures that do not hide her birthmark but instead, embrace her body and inspire others.


Ciprianna Quann and TK Wonder

Ciprianna Quann and TK Wonder are twins who are open about once hating their natural hair — believing it hindered their modeling. Now, you can't stop them from showing off their HUGE 4C natural hair puffs every chance they get.


Ava DuVernay

In a world where dreadlocks have long been considered "unprofessional," "unkempt," and/or "ghetto" — Ava DuVernay is the celebrity director who smashes all of those stereotypes. 

She's directed top Hollywood films and accepted the nominations and awards for them with her luxurious dreadlocks flowing down her back. 


Stef Sanjati

“I have a genetic mutation called Waardenburg syndrome,” Stef shared in a Youtube video. “It affects my facial structure, the pigmentation in my hair, my body, and my skin, and also my hearing.”

"I don't need to look 'normal.' I look cool as hell!" she also shared.


Ericka Hart 

Ericka Hart is always encouraging herself *and* other woman who have had a mastectomy to still see beauty in themselves. 

She even stood up to Instagram for removing her topless mastectomy scar photos — and won! The brand restored her images and she's continued to raise awareness about women living with the scars.


Shalom Nchom

Shalom Nchom is the viral self-taught makeup artist who shows and proves that makeup is all about satisfying your creativity and creating your own definition of beauty. 

Nchom survived a burn accident at the age of 9 and has been open about learning to embrace the scarring. She talks about her experience with self-love, acceptance, and of course the fun of makeup on her Youtube channel.


Alok Vaid-Menon

Alok Vaid-Menon is a self-described "trans/gender non-conforming artist & fashionist[a]" — known for their bold hair and makeup looks — and fighting for their right to be as expressive as they want to be with both!

"Stop telling trans women & trans feminine people that we 'wear too much makeup,' 'look like caricatures,' and that we 'shouldn't do so much,' if we want to be 'taken seriously' or 'pass,' they shared in an Instagram statement. "This is transmisogyny." 


Sarah Jane Adams

Sarah Jane Adams is a 61-year-old model who embraces her wrinkles. Her tagline and Instagram page is called "My Wrinkles are my Stripes." 

It's so refreshing to see someone embrace the beauty of the aging process instead of only celebrating the concept of "looking young." 

Every white hair and every wrinkle on Sarah Jane Adams is lovely and empowering for herself and for other people who love her.


Christina Ammon

Christina Ammon is a Rihanna and Fenty Beauty fan who opened up about being born with a birth mark that enlarges one of her cheeks. 

She initially sought to change it with surgery but ultimately decided she loves the unique way she looks. "Fat cheeks forevaaaa," she wrote on her Instagram page.