Girl Is Bullied for Her “Cursed” Skin – Today, After Proving Everyone Wrong, She’s Become a Famous Model
Sometimes what the world views as a curse, turns out to be our greatest blessing.
When Christelle Mengue was born, people said that she had been cursed by a witch.
Born white in a Black African family, even the doctors reinforced these harmful beliefs, telling her parents that she was “disabled” and suffered from a “sickness.”
It was none of the above. Mengue was born with albinism — a rare genetic disorder that causes decreased pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. Approximately 1 in 20,000 people around the world have some form of the condition.
While her family loved and embraced her, her community did not. What was even worse than the discrimination, however, was the threat of attack, mutilation, and even death by those who falsely believe that an albino’s body parts bring good luck.
Fearing for her safety, her parents uprooted the family from their home in Cameroon, Africa, and fled to Paris when she was 5 years old.
However, running thousands of miles away didn’t bring the solace they were searching for.
The Struggle to Find Her Place in Society
Growing up, Mengue faced relentless bullying and taunting from her peers due to her albinism.
Her pale complexion and platinum hair made her an easy target for those who lacked understanding and compassion.
“Throughout my time at school, I was constantly taunted because of my skin, the kids would call me ugly, weird, or a ghost.”Christelle Mengue
These cruel encounters left deep emotional scars, causing her to question her self-worth and contemplate hiding her unique beauty from the world.
She spent her teenage years dying her hair black and masking her pale skin with dark makeup in a desperate attempt to fit in. But changing her appearance didn’t have the results she was hoping for. The social exclusion continued.
Rejected by both the white and Black communities, eventually, she got tired of hiding.
After years of desperately trying to fit in, she embarked on a journey of self-discovery, and in doing so, was herself, discovered.
Embracing the Skin She Was Born In
At 19 years old Mengue was scouted by a French modeling agency. It was the catalyst she needed to begin her journey towards self-acceptance and feeling comfortable in her own skin.
She began connecting with her roots, making several trips back to her birth country to learn more about her identity, her culture, and her family background.
She also started researching albinism.
“I grew up without a role model and I never seen anyone like me on TV or in a magazine,” she said. “I had no idea what albinism even was so I took matters into my own hands and began researching and realized I am not the only one.”
She added, “I also discovered that having albinism didn’t mean I was handicapped, which was what I had been told so many times.”
At 23 years old, thanks in part to a burgeoning modeling career, the once-bullied albino girl was finally able to accept, and even embrace, her differences.
How a Girl With Albinism Is Taking the Modeling World by Storm
Ten years after first being discovered by a modeling agent, Mengue, who now lives in Britain, signed with Models of Diversity — an agency that makes it its mission to challenge outmoded ideals of beauty and change the face of fashion and modeling.
Since then, she’s walked the catwalk at London Fashion Week, modeled for InStyle magazine, and welcomed a beautiful little baby boy.
And today, Mengue is modeling for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Mercedes-Benz and Samsung, even appearing in their commercials.
She also acts as an advocate for others with albinism.
Despite enduring years of bullying and prejudice, Mengue refused to be defined by others’ narrow-mindedness. By challenging societal norms and embracing diversity, she continues to redefine beauty standards and create a more inclusive world. One where she finally feels like she fits in.
“I feel more than comfortable, I feel confident, I feel empowered and unique. It’s taken me years but I am happy to say that I wouldn’t change my physical appearance for anything in the world.”Christelle Mengue
Regardless of what the world may try to feed us, true beauty doesn’t lie in the color of a person’s skin or hair. It lies in embracing who you are and learning to celebrate what makes you unique.
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