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I once said to a close friend that it would really be lovely to see a woman with albinism on a Vogue Cover, I would not have imagined that that woman would be me. "We are the ones we have been waiting for." I'm emotional, because I see progress and get to form part of a progressive story and narrative. I got to a place in my career where I appreciate every specimen of my body and knowing that wherever I go, my existence, the way it is, has always and will always be enough. Thank you for allowing me to make a footnote in history @vogueportugal Thank you to the people who advised, supported and contributed significantly to this journey, who harnessed the essence of representation and inclusion. @gertjohancoetzee @melshaw001 @asandasizani @lynetteb_ Dr Precious Motsepe @unalbinism @audisouthafrica @asifhoosen @khanyi_matla @phindiv @pirelli Tim Walker @bbcafrica @bbc @motsepefoundation @afi_sa @glamour_sa @marieclairesa @foschinisa @pridemm @fashion_friend1 @staceylhanmer @kirsten___goss @beautyrevolution_za @samhopa @wokeproject @mimiinblue @adwoaaboa @infra_red_99 Not to mention I worked with an amazing team, it was one of the most unique and refreshing experiences I've ever had. Produced by @imi_oztas Features editor @patriciatrdomingues Editor in chief @sofia.slucas Photographer:@rhysframpton Styling @sallyannebolton Make up:@suuad_jeppe Journalist @joanapem P,S thank you to @shaundross for sending so much love my way and @diandraforrest for the shout out. thandohopa#photograpy#activist#activism#fashion#writer#diversity#inclusion#representaion#feminist#feminism#art#albinism#blackgirlmagic#model#actress#southafrica#afro#kinkyhair#naturalhair#authenticity#thoughtleader#narratives#change#storyteller#body#representationmatters#voguecover
Thando Hapo just made history. Fronting the new issue of Vogue Portugal, the 30-year-old South African model is the first person with albinism to appear on a Vogue cover — and it's a dream come true. Hapo shared her excitement on Instagram, writing "I once said to a close friend that it would really be lovely to see a woman with albinism on a Vogue cover, I would not have imagined that that woman would be me."
She continued: "'We are the ones we have been waiting for.' I'm emotional, because I see progress and get to form part of a progressive story and narrative. I got to a place in my career where I appreciate every specimen of my body and knowing that wherever I go, my existence, the way it is, has always and will always be enough." She ended her Instagram caption by thanking Vogue Portugal for the landmark opportunity.
In the accompanying cover story, Hapo spoke about whether or not she thinks inclusion in the fashion industry is just a trend. “I do not think that human bodies should ever be called 'trends.' I have a serious problem with people who say albinism is a trend, or vitiligo is a trend. Or people who say ‘It is so cool to be black right now,’” Hopa said. “Human bodies are not disposable.”
Vogue's international counterparts seem to be getting it right when it comes to diversity and inclusion (save for a Kardashian cover here or there). Last year, Naomi Campbell vocalised her belief that there needs to be a bigger platform for the African diaspora on a global scale. “There should be a Vogue Africa. We just had Vogue Arabia — it is the next progression."