Three youngsters each try to change the accepted norm of beauty - from pushing the modelling industry to increase diversity to learning to love themselves for who they are.
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My name is Kimran and this
is my twin sister, Simran.
We are identical, but there is one
I have a condition which means
I've lost the pigment in my skin,
giving me white patches.
It's called vitiligo.
I have vitiligo all over my body
and on my head,
which means my hair grows back grey.
I have it on my eyes, I have it on
I have it on my back and I have it
all on my legs.
My favourite white patch is the one
on my foot
because it looks like a heart.
When I look at fashion magazines and
adverts, the models are all perfect.
I don't see anyone who looks like
which can make me unhappy
with the way I look.
I don't think we know about people,
think if you're beautiful
or if you're not beautiful.
You're in a bit of a shock to just
hear someone say,
"Oh, you're pretty," or anything,
because you never really hear it.
Rafi, one of the few disabled
is hoping to break the mould.
In a few years, I hope to see more
And this is Lois.
I am a model and I'm beautiful.
They are beautiful,
and the sooner big brands take that
on board, the better.
Rafi, in big lights.
That would be amazing.
Simran and I were identical until
the age of four,
when my vitiligo patches started to
It might spread to other parts of my
and the patches may get bigger.
When it was at its worst it was,
like, covering most of my back,
most of my legs and most of my face.
Everyone used to be like,
"What's that on your face?
"Can you wash it off?"
They just called you, like,
like panda or a cow or a dog.
It was just nasty.
It just felt like it made you feel
I didn't really take it as a joke
because I took it to heart and I
I wasn't really the person
to laugh off the mean things.
People recognise, like, me and you
differently for what you have
and sometimes I wish I could have
it to see what you go through
and what everyone says to you all
When Kimran was little, her
confidence was quite low.
A parent in the school had said,
"You're a bit too young to have
Kimran kind of shied away from me
It is not nice as a parent to hear
that and it's not nice to see that
your child is going through
something like that.
I think Kimran started to think,
"I must be different from everybody
Me and my best friend, Grace, have
known each other all our lives.
I think all the magazines are
aiming, "You should be like this.
"Be more like this person.
She's really pretty, really good."
It's like you have to be kind of
Tall and skinny and...
I do think it influences everybody
to be nasty if all these...
Because they see all these people
who are perfect and they are
like, "Everybody should be the same
Every single photo you see have all
got filters on.
And if you don't, you have to
literally put in the caption,
"Natural, no filter."
I'm not going to say I don't use
filters because, literally,
I don't take a photo without it.
I think it'd, like, be really
great if everyone could, like,
feel really good about themselves
and don't have any insecurities
There is so much pressure from
the media to look a certain way,
but some people are challenging
Rafi has been modelling
for over a year now.
I like that.
So, what's this picture here, Mum?
That was before you fell ill.
You look like a little model there,
Very colour coordinated.
Five years ago, Rafi's life was
turned upside down
when he suffered
a brain haemorrhage
and was rushed to intensive care.
Can you remember anything about that
No, I don't remember anything.
You came and said that you'd got
a headache and you felt sick.
Within minutes, you were on
this settee, unconscious.
I bet you were scared?
Do you remember any of this?
No, not at all, but to be honest,
I'm so glad I can't remember.
It's a bit shocking to look at some
of these pictures.
It is, yeah. I just want to remember
For a long time, you couldn't talk.
We didn't know what you were
I've come a long way, five years.
Three, two, one.
Rafi was in hospital for months
but slowly, he was recovering.
Come on, Rafi.
There were a few stumbles
along the way...
It's amazing, really, Rafi,
to think for such a long time you
couldn't move at all
and now you're walking around,
you can go bowling.
Do your race running...
Go, Raf! Raf!
..and the modelling as well.
To see me now, it's just absolutely
The parts of Rafi's brain
that control speech,
movement and memory were damaged.
This means he struggles to remember
what has happened during the day,
so he posts a blog to keep track.
A really nice way of looking at
These are life moments
that I don't want to forget
and without them,
they'd just be gone.
It's just when I go to sleep, I just
forget everything from the day.
I am just so thankful that they are
This picture is a picture of me
when I first started doing
I'm so pleased with how it's turned
There are some successful models
This is my hero, Niall.
He starred in London, New York and
Milan Fashion Weeks and has
thousands of Instagram followers.
He's arranged to meet me.
I'm so nervous.
Look how cool he is!
Hi! Thanks for coming.
I wonder if he's always been so
Is it a bad or a good thing to have
vitiligo in the modelling industry?
I think it's something different so
with everything different, you know,
it's going to hold me back in some
aspects but in others,
it's like my look, do you know what
So it sets me apart from every
other model in the casting,
so it's helped me a lot,
You've got it in your hair, haven't
I've not got none in my hair,
like, I've never had it.
I think it looks really cool.
Yours started when you were four?
Did anybody ever say anything to you
when you were...?
Well, when I was four, obviously,
no-one really cared because you was
little and kids didn't understand.
They used to say, like, "Can you
Or, "Have you been burnt?"
Stuff like that.
There was a rumour at school that
I'd fell in a bonfire and people
actually believed that and then,
"Does it hurt?"
That's what everybody always says to
Or, "Can you feel it?"
Obviously, I can't, it's just a bit
People ask, "Does it feel normal?"
Yeah. "Can I touch it?" I'm like,
"Does it feel normal to your skin?"
I had mine like yours. I had it
on my eyelids and then I started to
get little bits on my knuckles.
When I first started dancing I was
tank tops and shorts and three
quarter length leggings.
I didn't want to wear them.
So I started to stop dancing and not
go because I was self-conscious
and I didn't want to show anyone.
I went to the doctor's
and I got this foundation
which is really thick and then you
put it on your skin to cover it.
I remember when I was at
school, I hated PE.
I would be late to school or not go
to school on PE days
if I couldn't find my trackies
because I wouldn't be wearing
but I don't notice it any more,
And then with modelling,
it has definitely helped with my
When you do a portfolio,
you have to do some just basic
of what you look like normally,
not posing or anything.
Don't get disappointed when you
don't get booked for stuff first off
because there will always be
so don't be disheartened by anything
you don't get chosen for.
We definitely need more diversity in
the media and in the world,
basically, because not a lot of
diversity is represented,
especially with people with skin
conditions like ours.
And obviously, you are bringing
awareness to vitiligo.
Should be proud of yourself.
It was so great meeting Niall.
He's really inspired me.
This is ten-year-old Lois.
She is changing people's ideas of
who can be a model.
This is my bedroom.
This is my party light.
That's me and my dog.
My dog's name is Elmo.
These are my clothes.
She does love the camera and she
does love showing off,
don't you, Lois?
Lois was born with hearing problems.
She's hypermobile, so she has
really flexible joints,
has weak muscles and gets tired
Yay! Good girl.
I'm doing boxing because I need to
I'm better at boxing than my dad.
Lois has already had a few modelling
..and has just found out that she
has a photo shoot in London
for a top high-street brand.
I'm hoping this will lead to big
things for Lois.
I'd love to see her as the first
disabled, deaf supermodel.
Rafi is practising for the catwalk.
He has just found out he's starring
in an upcoming charity fashion show.
Are you OK?
To get catwalk-ready, he's come
to Leeds for some pampering.
Right? Are we good to start?
You'd think it might make
you cough, but it doesn't.
What's made you want to get into
Well, I've always been interested in
I just thought it would be great to
give it a go.
After his brain haemorrhage,
he thought his dream was over,
until his mum sent his photo to a
Yeah, it's been amazing since I've
Which has just given me a lust
Is that a phrase?
Are you relaxed?
Ready for your haircut?
I am. I feel dizzy after that.
Hopefully, in years to
come, we'll see a rise
in disabled modelling
and a lot more disabled models
in the industry.
How does that feel for you, Raf?
Definitely ready to model now.
My dream is to model for a huge
Today, Lois is living that dream.
She's in London for a photo shoot
for River Island.
With these trousers.
Hello! Have a seat.
I do like purple.
Is that your favourite?
What do you like the most?
The jacket, because it's very, very
It is so soft.
I really like
the hair and make-up.
Right, we're ready. Let's go.
Are you ready for the main girl?
Get ready! Get ready.
Lois, what music shall we put on
before we start?
Little Mix - Power.
MUSIC: Power by Little Mix
One, two, three.
Yeah, you should do it to me.
I am so tired after that.
Look, that one's funny.
No, that looks so good.
To be able to see herself
on screen in photographs
really makes a difference.
I did my filming and photo shoot.
I loved it.
Very tiring day.
I'll go to sleep in the car
on the way home.
It's the dress rehearsal for
tonight's charity fashion show.
You two turn around, look as though
you're doing the business.
OK. Who is with who?
In a few hours, Rafi and the other
disabled models will be performing
to a packed theatre.
Don't walk too far ahead, so then
Rafi can put your hand out to Riley.
So, get yourself steady,
take a deep breath,
focus and then set off.
You don't have to rush.
You hold back.
You make sure he is
steady before you set off anyway.
No rush on that one, you've got
all the time in the world.
When the music starts, it's nearly
time to go.
When all these seats have got
Oh, God. That will make me so
I suppose I'm worried about my
if I ever forget what I'm meant to
The show is important for Rafi.
It's five years to the day since
You'll be fine.
I will try and make it a mental
Lucky for Rafi,
his sister is on hand to keep him
calm and to do his make-up.
You've come really far.
It's good to have something like
this on a five-year anniversary.
It just shows, doesn't it?
It really does, yeah.
It just shows how far I've come,
Because five years ago, I would
never have even dreamed
of being able to do this.
Five years ago, I wasn't in the
state for doing anything then.
Are you nervous?
As the night goes
on, I will be.
I will start to get nervous.
Side, side, go.
I would like to change back in the
because I think we've got
it into our heads
should look the same kind of way.
There are different kinds of people
and we are all beautiful in our own
At the moment, how many times
do you see a disabled person
in a catalogue or something?
Not that often.
You might not have thought about
that before you were disabled.
It never crossed your mind, did it?
No. It didn't. But now I'm disabled
I notice it quite a lot, actually.
It is quite important, isn't it?
Rafi has to do three poses
at the end of his walk
but he is worried about remembering
I will keep a lookout for you
and you can remind me.
I've got to do those, have I?
Oh. Not that!
One... Just do them sitting down.
Fingers crossed, he's got it.
This is it. Rehearsals are over
and all the models are ready to go.
# Yeah, you could be the greatest
# You can be the best
# You can be the King Kong banging
on your chest
# You could beat the world
# You could beat the war
# You could talk to God,
go banging on his door
# You can throw your hands up
# You can beat the clock... #
It's Rafi's big moment.
Do you know what you're doing?
Go all the way to the end...
Get rid of the frame.
You put your hand on my shoulder and
then we wait, like,
a couple of seconds
and we'll go off.
# You made me a, you made me a
believer, believer... #
# Oh, let the bullets fly
oh, let them rain
# My life, my love,
my drive, it came from...
# You made me a, you made me
a believer, believer
# Third things third
# Send a prayer to the ones up above
# All the hate that you've heard
has turned your spirit to a dove
# Oh ooh
# Your spirit up above, oh ooh
# You made me a, you made me a
believer, believer... #
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Two out of three poses isn't bad,
Well done, guys.
He owned that catwalk.
But there is one extra special
surprise for Rafi.
I'd like to ask for Rafi to take a
And Mum and Dad and sister.
So, five years ago today this
this wonderful man, Rafi, he
had a brain haemorrhage.
So just to mark what an amazing sort
of recovery you have made
in those five years,
we've been joined by the team
that cared for you
when you were first in hospital.
And they've been hiding
somewhere, so they're still hiding.
Do you want to come up?
Today has been amazing.
To top it all off,
I saw all the old hospital doctors
and physios and all sorts.
What a lovely surprise.
Loved it! I was not expecting that!
That was a massive surprise.
It was, yeah.
Rafi and Niall are so inspiring.
They're really changing the way
I want to become a model
just to show you can look pretty,
you can do everything that the role
even though you've got vitiligo or
even though you've got a condition.
Just because I've got vitiligo
doesn't change who I am.
Today I am doing some test shots at
a modelling agency
to see if I can get on their books.
I hope that people do get more
confident seeing me
because when I saw Niall, I felt
a massive shot of confidence.
Let this one rest, so your foot
comes and rests on here.
You have to look as natural as you
On your back, you've got quite a lot
of vitiligo, haven't you?
Yeah, is that right?
Wow! What a star!
I want people to know I'm not just
comfortable in my skin,
I'm proud of it.
These ones. These are my favourites.
I think you look beautiful.
Don't you? Yeah?
I loved it and looking back at
the photos, I was surprised
how beautiful I looked.
Maybe one day, I will be on the
cover of a magazine.
Well done. Nice to meet you.
Safe journey back.
Rafi's on his way to Manchester
to meet Johnny at boohooMAN.
Are you excited?
I'm very excited.
Hi, Johnny. Nice to meet you.
Hi, Rafi. Nice to meet you.
a few questions I'd like to ask you.
I've had to write them down because
my memory is not that great, but...
No problem. Fire away.
There are 13 million disabled people
in the UK.
I just don't think they are being
represented in the modelling world
at the moment.
I agree. I think the fashion
industry can do a lot more
to be inclusive.
We haven't used a disabled model yet
Boohoo use a disabled model in one
of their adverts.
We've done a good job using models
of different ethnicities and colours
and body types but I think it is
something we can really look to do,
to integrate disabled people into
our campaigns more.
Would you ever consider booking me
for your campaigns?
We'll have to see how you do
in the studio first.
That is the real test, isn't it?
This is the studio.
This is Cathy, the stylist.
Hi. How do you feel about yellow,
You all right trying that on?
Yellow is my guilty pleasure.
I like yellow.
I think these shoes are a little too
small for me.
Your toes are hanging over.
These are the joys of
It's fashion, Rafi.
If you bring your head back,
slightly. That's nice.
It's really hard work
being a model.
Just looking straight to me.
Straight to camera. Nice. Keep that.
I think the problem with a lot of
they don't accept that they are
You love doing your hair.
That is your go-to pose.
That's a classic as well.
Absolutely nailed it!
It's just an instinct to see all
the negatives about yourself,
but if you look at yourself, there
are quite a lot of positives.
It takes people like yourself,
who can be seen as a role model,
who are willing to step outside
their comfort zone and do something
different, which is only really seen
for able-bodied people.
There is no reason why disabled
people can't do that
and if you work hard and you're
dedicated to it and learn and listen
to other people, it will come.
That's the money shot.
That is the money shot.
I think today went really well.
Who knows what the future holds?
But I'm excited.
I recently saw a viral video online
which has motivated me
to make my own version.
I've realised I am beautiful and I
want to show my friends that too,
and hopefully I can make a mini
I want to try something.
It might be a little bit weird
but I need Grace first.
I just wanted to bring you upstairs
to tell you that you're beautiful.
Aw! So cute!
I just want to say I think you're
I just want you to know that you are
I think you're beautiful.
I don't know what to say.
No-one really gives you
compliments, like, now,
to be honest, like, so it's a bit...
..funny to hear something like that.
I don't think I've ever had anyone
say anything that
nice to me before.
I've never heard that from friends
No, friends never say it, so, thank
But actually, that means a lot,
like, to me as a person.
I haven't really had the confidence
from someone actually telling me
that, so thank you.
I did that because I thought that
you should all know that, like,
you're all beautiful and I love you,
like, loads and loads.
We love you too.
There's so much pressure to look
like the models we see in the media
but the world would be a very boring
place if we all looked the same.
Models like Rafi, Lois and Niall are
beginning to change
the face of beauty, but telling your
friends they're beautiful
can make a big difference too.
# You could be the greatest
# You can be the best
# You can be the
King Kong banging on your chest
# You could beat the world
# You could beat the war
# You could talk to God, go banging
on his door
# You can throw your hands up
# You can beat the clock
# You can move a mountain
# You can break rocks
# Standing in the hall of fame. #
In this revelatory documentary, three young people are determined to change our perception of beauty. As there is ever more pressure to look a certain way, Kimran, Lois and Rafi are on a mission to question the meaning of beauty.
Kimran is a 12-year-old identical twin. She and her sister are identical in every way but one - Kimran has vitiligo, a skin condition where white patches develop on her body and hair due to a lack of pigment. She has been bullied because of this and even used make up to cover up her vitiligo in a bid to fit in. But now, Kimran wants to change people's preconceptions about beauty. She meets Nile, a successful fashion model with vitiligo who gives her the confidence to embrace her condition and put herself forward for a test photoshoot with a model agency.
We also meet Rafi who was 12 when he suddenly collapsed with a brain haemorrhage whilst playing in his garden. He was rushed into intensive care and unable to speak or move for months. He is now 17 and not only has he relearnt how to walk and talk again - he has also embarked on a career in modelling. In a moving sequence we see him take to the catwalk at a charity fashion show, five years to the day since his brain haemorrhage. Determined to pursue his modelling career, he visits the head office of major fashion retailer Boohoo, and asks if they would consider someone like him to be the face of their brand. Will they embrace him as a disabled model or turn him away?
Ten-year-old Lois is also disabled but she too is challenging what is the norm when it comes to beauty and we follow her as she realises her dream of modelling for a top high-street brand.