Fashion model with albinism | Diandra Forrest

She’s white, and yet black. Her hair is naturally blonde, her skin and facial hair are milk white, her eyes are green, and her lips and nose are distinctly African. She is Diandra Forrest, albinism’s role model, and the most startling supermodel of our time.

Here she tells her story of growing up — how the pain of being an “ugly duckling” as a child was transformed into the celebrity of being a sought-after star at a major model agency.

Diandra Forrest is an African American model/actress born and raised in New York. As the first model with albinism to be signed to a major modeling agency, Diandra has been featured in multiple TV specials and magazine covers. As a humanitarian, Diandra’s focus is equality and tolerance for all.

She was born in the Bronx, New York City, on October 22, 1989, to African American parents. She is not the only albino in the family — of her three siblings she also has a brother with the same condition.

The term “albino” comes from word “albus” — the Latin word for “white”. Approximately one person in 17,000 is born with the condition, a rare genetic disorder characterized by a loss of pigment in the skin, hair and sometimes the eyes. Albino people lack melanin, the substance responsible for natural hair and skin color. The condition affects people of all ethnicities globally.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *