“Beauty is found in all shapes, sizes and colors.” Presenting Thando Hopa
Today I start profiling African models. Get to know the beauties making us proud out there. And so I thought, who best to start me off if not Ms. Thando Hopa.
So when I was through typing, I glanced to the side bar of my blog page and I stare at what I had named this category of models exploration. Yea, I called it “Black models Profiled.” And am here writing about a beautiful African albino fashion model who is not necessarily black.
Not everyone is black, and not everyone is white, or Caucasian or whatever. some are beautifully colourless.
Thando Hopa is a South African fashion model cum lawyer. She is not your everyday kinda woman. Hopa is an albino who sees beauty beyond skin colour. She refuses to let that define her.
She uses this platform to educate people on albinism, “I make others aware of how to refer to people like me without it being uncomfortable”.
While women in the world are going berserk doing everything they can to get rid of their dark skin, others are facing prejudice and discrimination because they are “too white”. Worse still are, killed for their “skin colour as their limbs are chopped off.”
There is this stupid bizarre notion that albino bring good luck. This misconception has led to albinos being killed and their body parts sold for outrageous amounts of money just for “good luck”
Ms. Hopa is one beauty that has chosen to rise above the prejudices and fight the stereotypes. She has seen it all from random hugs in the streets for luck, to being spat upon as a harbinger of bad luck.
But that hasn’t stopped her from making a difference.
Though not in her initial plans, after being convinced by designer Gert-Johan Coetzee, and her sister who reminded her of what she has faced, and how she can use this to make a difference, she decided to give fashion modeling a shot.
Her initial photo shoot as an albino model appeared on the cover of the Forbes Life Africa in 2013.
She recalls her first encounter.
“The dress was gorgeous – black and green. I can tell you, I have never felt so expensive in my life. But I was actually so scared because in essence that was the first time I really walked in heels. I was even saying a little prayer when I was walking, ‘God, please don’t let me fall on this catwalk!’ I was absolutely frightened.”
Growing up Hopa didn’t understand why she wasn’t like other children, or why Everybody made fun of her. and she certainly didn’t get why she always had to wear hats.
But she has sure grown into a confident woman.
If you find yourself in a place where you discriminate or validate beauty in your own terms for whichever reason, I leave you with this quote.
“The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.”
― Eric Berne