When the fresh-faced, thin, white models are cast in nearly every fashion and beauty campaign, the result is a very narrow beauty ideal. Naturally, this is disconcerting for anyone whose appearance is outside those tight parameters.
“It was never really easy, just because I was so different,” says model Clémentine Desseaux of growing up outside of beauty norms in her native France. “Deep inside me, I always felt like I was not the problem, it was probably just the people around me. It took me a while, but when I was 21, I decided to move to Miami.”
The physical move became a liberating one that eventually lead to Desseaux kicking off a modeling career, which in turn helped her believe in herself. “I could see that it was actually possible to be considered beautiful, even though I was not told that I was a regular beauty before. It was really comforting, and also it really boosted my confidence.”