Albino Diandra Forrest always wanted to be a model, just like her mother, but was brutally told she could never make it and looked ‘too odd’ for the job.
But this week she has proven all her doubters wrong after being named as the face of Wet n Wild, becoming as the first model with albinism to land a major beauty campaign.
The native New Yorker stuns alongside four other beauties including transgender model and DJ Valentijn De Hingh and amputee activist and cancer survivor Mama Cax in a campaign that spotlights non-mainstream forms of beauty, celebrating unique characteristics often erased in popular beauty trends.
The campaign, which is yet to release all the campaign photos, reveals a stunning Diandra in intense, dark sparkling eye shadow, high shine glossed lips and bronzed cheeks.
‘So excited to announce that I am one of the faces of the new Wet n Wild Breaking Beauty Campaign. It’s always great to be a part of a brand that celebrates diversity, and prides itself on being inclusive to all!’ she gushed in an Instagram post, celebrating her modeling milestone.
The model made headlines last year for her strut down the New York Fashion Week catwalk with daughter Rain cradled in her arms, at just seven weeks old. But the young model isn’t new to the business, she was featured in Beyoncé’s Pretty Hurts music video in 2014 and has graced magazine covers for the likes of Ebony.
And now she’s stepping into the beauty industry as the face of her first campaign, which she hopes will bring change.
She shared to Refinery29 that she hopes the gig will ‘normalize what albinism was being depicted as’ in media.
‘I wanted to do it for myself and young girls growing up,’ she added.
For her the campaign is more than a dream come true, it’s a meaningful movement.
‘I always wanted to be a part of a beauty campaign, especially with a brand that celebrates diversity and uniqueness,’ she said.
‘They’ve used models in the past that are different and are breaking the societal standards of what beauty is. I was thrilled to be partnering up with them, especially,’ she added.
But her journey to stardom wasn’t easy. She faced brutal bullying for her looks during her schooling years, and during her modelling training days faced discouraging and degrading words from her mentors.
‘I had a modeling coach when I was 14 or 15. He was so mean, [and would say things] like, ‘You’re too odd, you will never be a model,’ she said to Refinery29.
But she persevered and proved him wrong.
‘I got signed to a big modeling agency my first time around. That was really exciting for me, because I wasn’t sure about everything. When agencies showed interest, it made me feel good. That coach was wrong. Agencies were very receptive, and clients were interested,’ she shared on her modelling journey.
Now she’s a beacon of body positivity and hope for her 136,000 Instagram followers who flood her feed with heartwarming messages of congratulations for her new campaign.
What’s more – Wet n Wild in one of the brands that actually caters to her hard-to-match skin color, an issue a myriad of beauty companies struggle with and receive public heat for.
She shared that she found a foundation in the upcoming winter line that matches her flawlessly.
‘They’re the perfect shades. When I showed up on set, I felt so comfortable. I’m always like, “Will they have my shade? Will it look correct?” I always have to mix. The shade is either too dark or too pale. But Wet n Wild made me feel so beautiful,’ she said.
It seems like her campaign is a perfect fit in more ways than one.