These Unconventional Models Are Redefining Beauty Standards

Written by Khubi Amin AhmedSep 16, 2023
These unconventional models are redefining beauty standards

While the glass ceiling is far from broken, the age-old definitions of beauty sure are being shattered today and these unconventional, non-conformist models are taking the cause ahead.

Comfortable in their skin, shape and size, these models are taking the runways of the world by storm with their sheer panache and confidence. These few but fabulous unconventional beauties are a living celebration of diversity! And we at Be Beautiful are here in full attendance to cheer and celebrate them for their path breaking work.    


Tess Holliday

Erika Linder

If you thought fashion runways are exclusive to hourglass figures and perfect bodies, things have changed for the better! Here is a plus-sized model, who has a social media following of over 1.3 million and was named one of the 30 most influential people of 2016 by Time Magazine.

Holliday’s path breaking work, her confidence and positivity together are a body positive movement in itself. “The term is never used in hate; it never has been used in hate. It’s an adjective. I am plus-size. It’s like getting mad that somebody calls me a redhead. I am a redhead” she was quoted by the Weekly Buzz.


Winnie Harlow

Erika Linder

Winnie Harlow personifies the young face of fashion as she continues to confidently walk the runway of life wearing her Vitiligo-affected skin without any inhibitions. With many top notch fashion magazine covers, fashion campaigns and brand representations to her credit, Harlow sure is changing perceptions of beauty.


Carmen Dell'Orefice

Erika Linder

In the volatile, fast-moving world of fashion, she is an eighty-six year old model! An epitome of timeless beauty, Dell’Orefice started modelling with Vogue at the ripe age of fifteen and has ever since been in and out of the modelling industry. Defying ageism in an industry like fashion, Dell’Orefice is the world’s oldest working model. Isn’t age just a number after all?


Katie Meade

Erika Linder

Katie Meade is the world’s first model with Down Syndrome who managed to fulfil her childhood dream of being a mainstream model despite her condition. Meade entered the fashion industry with a beauty campaign called ‘Fearless’ for a hair care brand and ever since, there has been no looking back for her. When she is not modelling, Meade volunteers to work for youth with disabilities.


Erika Linder

Erika Linder

If being the best version of yourself and comfortable in one’s own skin and sexuality is what beauty is all about, then this super model is setting the most unique example. Erika Linder is an androgynous model who has posed as both—an ultra-feminine, high-fashion model and a well-groomed male model! Blurring any lines that might keep her from being who she is as a person, Linder is redefining beauty beyond the confines of gender!

In tow with Lakme Fashion Week’s #BeautyBeyondBoundaries campaign, here we are celebrating beauty in diversity.  

Image credit: Instagram,,

Khubi Amin Ahmed

Written by

Deputy Editor, Writer/Journalist, Avid reader, Moonlighting literature loony, culinary and art fanatic. Unconventional eternal!

Shop This Story