8 Gorgeous Models That Are Brave Enough To Change the Fashion Industry

It's not breaking news that the modeling industry needs a revamp. There have been a lot of discussions about weight requirements and diversity, and the models we see on the runway rarely, if ever, resemble normal women.
However, in recent years, the media and the general public have taken a liking to models who do not fit that mold: Kate Grant, who has Down syndrome, and Lyn Slater, a 69-year-old college professor signed with Elite models, have both received positive feedback, giving us hope for the future. Could the delay for "real women" to cover magazines and star in commercials soon be over?
We still have a long way to go, but we'll celebrate every baby step along the way. Progress is progress, and as the adage goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Continue reading to see all of the women who are out to change the game while we patiently wait for this to become the new normal.

#1 Hari Nef

Gorgeous Models, Hari NefSource: © harinef / Instagram

The first transgender woman to appear on the cover of a well-known British fashion publication was Hari Nef. She made her runway debut in 2015 and joined IMG, making history as the agency's first transgender model. In addition to her modeling career, Nef is a writter and actress. She has appeared in many well-regarded series, such as Transparent and You.

#2 Jillian Mercado

Gorgeous ModelsSource: © Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Jillian Mercado uses a wheelchair and has muscular dystrophy, but she has never let those obstacles stop her from pursuing her career goals and fighting for representation. Mercado made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week after being featured on the covers of several fashion magazines and using her social media platform to raise awareness of disabilities.

#3 Kate Grant

Kate GrantSource: @kategrantmodel

Last year, 24-year-old Kate Grant joined a modeling agency in Northern Ireland as the nation's first model with Down syndrome. When Grant was 19 and won a pageant, her successful career in the industry officially began. She has since participated in activism for a more diverse fashion industry and walked in London Fashion Week. “I use my platform to raise awareness for the inclusion of people with a disability or ability. I use my voice for people who can’t have a voice.”

#4 Lauren Wasser

Gorgeous Models, Lauren WasserSource: © Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy Stock Photo

Lauren Wasser had to have both of her legs amputated when she was 24 years old due to toxic shock syndrome. Wasser had two model parents, and before getting sick, she had been doing the same. The model decided to continue her career and work to make it more inclusive after going through a depressive period and trying to accept her new body. Since then, Wasser has used her golden prosthetic legs to walk down countless catwalks.

#5 Lyn Slater

Gorgeous Models, Lyn SlaterSource: © Yuchen Liao / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

A few years ago, the 69-year-old college professor decided to start a blog to pursue her interest in fashion, which led to her becoming an "accidental icon." When some photographers mistakenly thought she was a part of New York Fashion Week, Slater rose to fame. While in her sixties, she was signed with Elite models, made several magazine covers, and walked a few runways. The model describes herself as "just an ordinary person who reinvented me at age 61."

#6 Mara Martin

Gorgeous ModelsSource: AP/EAST NEWS

Mara Martin gained fame when she breastfed her baby daughter while walking down the runway at a 2018 Sports Illustrated fashion show. The model later said of the occasion, "I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!"

#7 Nyome Nicholas-Williams

Gorgeous Models, Nyome Nicholas-WilliamsSource: © curvynyome / Instagram

Plus-size model and body positivity advocate Nyome Nicholas-Williams led a successful campaign to alter Instagram's community guidelines. In addition to her work in the beauty industry, the British model uses her fame for other charitable endeavors, such as serving as an ambassador for a group that works to end homelessness.

#8 Shahad Salman

Gorgeous Models, Shahad SalmanSource: © 5sunshine1 / Instagram

Shahad Salman began pursuing a career in the same field a few years ago after being motivated by the success of Winnie Harlow, another supermodel with vitiligo. “Challenging stereotypes is very important,” Salman said about her role in the industry, “and having self-confidence too. That’s one of my strongest features. Knowing that I can be a source of inspiration for people has helped me a lot.”
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