Changing the Face of Beauty My Life


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Changing the Face of Beauty

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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LineFromTo

you get permission and leave your

number so we can call. Now we have

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The Worst

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My name is Kimran and this

is my twin sister, Simran.

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We are identical, but there is one

difference.

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I have a condition which means

I've lost the pigment in my skin,

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giving me white patches.

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It's called vitiligo.

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I have vitiligo all over my body

and on my head,

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which means my hair grows back grey.

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I have it on my eyes, I have it on

my arm,

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I have it on my back and I have it

all on my legs.

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My favourite white patch is the one

on my foot

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because it looks like a heart.

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When I look at fashion magazines and

adverts, the models are all perfect.

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I don't see anyone who looks like

me,

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which can make me unhappy

with the way I look.

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I don't think we know about people,

like,

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think if you're beautiful

or if you're not beautiful.

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You're in a bit of a shock to just

hear someone say,

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"Oh, you're pretty," or anything,

because you never really hear it.

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Rafi, one of the few disabled

models,

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is hoping to break the mould.

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In a few years, I hope to see more

of this.

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Lots more.

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And this is Lois.

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I am a model and I'm beautiful.

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They are beautiful,

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and the sooner big brands take that

on board, the better.

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Imagine that.

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Rafi, in big lights.

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That would be amazing.

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Simran and I were identical until

the age of four,

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when my vitiligo patches started to

appear.

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It might spread to other parts of my

body

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and the patches may get bigger.

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When it was at its worst it was,

like, covering most of my back,

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most of my legs and most of my face.

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Everyone used to be like,

"What's that on your face?

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"Can you wash it off?"

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They just called you, like,

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animal-related things

like panda or a cow or a dog.

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It was just nasty.

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It just felt like it made you feel

insecure.

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I didn't really take it as a joke

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because I took it to heart and I

didn't really...

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I wasn't really the person

to laugh off the mean things.

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People recognise, like, me and you

differently for what you have

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and sometimes I wish I could have

it to see what you go through

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and what everyone says to you all

the time.

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When Kimran was little, her

confidence was quite low.

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A parent in the school had said,

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"You're a bit too young to have

white hair."

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Kimran kind of shied away from me

then.

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It is not nice as a parent to hear

that and it's not nice to see that

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your child is going through

something like that.

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I think Kimran started to think,

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"I must be different from everybody

else."

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Me and my best friend, Grace, have

known each other all our lives.

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I think all the magazines are

aiming, "You should be like this.

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"Be more like this person.

She's really pretty, really good."

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It's like you have to be kind of

tall...

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Tall and skinny and...

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All perfect.

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I do think it influences everybody

to be nasty if all these...

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Because they see all these people

who are perfect and they are

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like, "Everybody should be the same

way."

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Every single photo you see have all

got filters on.

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And if you don't, you have to

literally put in the caption,

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"Natural, no filter."

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I'm not going to say I don't use

filters because, literally,

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I don't take a photo without it.

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I think it'd, like, be really

great if everyone could, like,

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feel really good about themselves

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and don't have any insecurities

about themselves.

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There is so much pressure from

the media to look a certain way,

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but some people are challenging

that.

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Rafi has been modelling

for over a year now.

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I like that.

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So, what's this picture here, Mum?

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That was before you fell ill.

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You look like a little model there,

don't you?

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Very colour coordinated.

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Five years ago, Rafi's life was

turned upside down

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when he suffered

a brain haemorrhage

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and was rushed to intensive care.

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Can you remember anything about that

day?

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No, I don't remember anything.

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You came and said that you'd got

a headache and you felt sick.

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Yeah.

Within minutes, you were on

this settee, unconscious.

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Yeah, collapsed.

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I bet you were scared?

Horrible.

Do you remember any of this?

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No, not at all, but to be honest,

I'm so glad I can't remember.

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It's a bit shocking to look at some

of these pictures.

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It is, yeah. I just want to remember

positive things.

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For a long time, you couldn't talk.

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We didn't know what you were

thinking.

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I've come a long way, five years.

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Three, two, one.

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Rafi was in hospital for months

but slowly, he was recovering.

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Come on, Rafi.

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Videoing.

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Yeah, ready.

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There were a few stumbles

along the way...

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Woohoo!

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It's amazing, really, Rafi,

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to think for such a long time you

couldn't move at all

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and now you're walking around,

you can go bowling.

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Yeah.

Do your race running...

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Go, Raf! Raf!

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..and the modelling as well.

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Perfect, yeah.

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To see me now, it's just absolutely

amazing.

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The parts of Rafi's brain

that control speech,

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movement and memory were damaged.

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This means he struggles to remember

what has happened during the day,

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so he posts a blog to keep track.

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A really nice way of looking at

things.

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These are life moments

that I don't want to forget

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and without them,

they'd just be gone.

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It's just when I go to sleep, I just

forget everything from the day.

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I am just so thankful that they are

here.

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This picture is a picture of me

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when I first started doing

modelling.

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I'm so pleased with how it's turned

out.

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There are some successful models

with vitiligo.

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This is my hero, Niall.

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He starred in London, New York and

Milan Fashion Weeks and has

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thousands of Instagram followers.

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He's arranged to meet me.

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I'm so nervous.

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Look how cool he is!

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Hi! Thanks for coming.

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I wonder if he's always been so

confident.

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Is it a bad or a good thing to have

vitiligo in the modelling industry?

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I think it's something different so

with everything different, you know,

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it's going to hold me back in some

aspects but in others,

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it's like my look, do you know what

I mean?

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So it sets me apart from every

other model in the casting,

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so it's helped me a lot,

definitely.

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You've got it in your hair, haven't

you?

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Yeah.

I've not got none in my hair,

like, I've never had it.

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I think it looks really cool.

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Yours started when you were four?

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Did anybody ever say anything to you

when you were...?

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Well, when I was four, obviously,

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no-one really cared because you was

little and kids didn't understand.

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They used to say, like, "Can you

catch it?"

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Or, "Have you been burnt?"

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Stuff like that.

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There was a rumour at school that

I'd fell in a bonfire and people

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actually believed that and then,

"Does it hurt?"

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That's what everybody always says to

me.

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Or, "Can you feel it?"

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Obviously, I can't, it's just a bit

of pigment.

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People ask, "Does it feel normal?"

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Yeah. "Can I touch it?" I'm like,

"Yeah."

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"Does it feel normal to your skin?"

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I had mine like yours. I had it

on my eyelids and then I started to

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get little bits on my knuckles.

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When I first started dancing I was

wearing, like,

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tank tops and shorts and three

quarter length leggings.

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I didn't want to wear them.

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So I started to stop dancing and not

go because I was self-conscious

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and I didn't want to show anyone.

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I went to the doctor's

and I got this foundation

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which is really thick and then you

put it on your skin to cover it.

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I remember when I was at

school, I hated PE.

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I would be late to school or not go

to school on PE days

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if I couldn't find my trackies

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because I wouldn't be wearing

shorts,

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but I don't notice it any more,

you know.

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And then with modelling,

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it has definitely helped with my

confidence.

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When you do a portfolio,

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you have to do some just basic

pictures

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of what you look like normally,

not posing or anything.

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Don't get disappointed when you

don't get booked for stuff first off

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because there will always be

something else,

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so don't be disheartened by anything

you don't get chosen for.

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We definitely need more diversity in

the media and in the world,

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basically, because not a lot of

diversity is represented,

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especially with people with skin

conditions like ours.

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And obviously, you are bringing

awareness to vitiligo.

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Should be proud of yourself.

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It was so great meeting Niall.

He's really inspired me.

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This is ten-year-old Lois.

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She is changing people's ideas of

who can be a model.

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This is my bedroom.

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This is my party light.

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My pillow.

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That's me and my dog.

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My dog's name is Elmo.

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These are my clothes.

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She does love the camera and she

does love showing off,

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don't you, Lois?

Yeah.

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Lois was born with hearing problems.

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She's hypermobile, so she has

really flexible joints,

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has weak muscles and gets tired

easily.

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This one.

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Yay! Good girl.

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Big one.

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Good girl.

Do it!

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I'm doing boxing because I need to

be strong.

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I'm better at boxing than my dad.

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Lois has already had a few modelling

jobs...

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..and has just found out that she

has a photo shoot in London

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for a top high-street brand.

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I'm hoping this will lead to big

things for Lois.

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I'd love to see her as the first

disabled, deaf supermodel.

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Rafi is practising for the catwalk.

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He has just found out he's starring

in an upcoming charity fashion show.

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Are you OK?

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To get catwalk-ready, he's come

to Leeds for some pampering.

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Right? Are we good to start?

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Yeah.

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You'd think it might make

you cough, but it doesn't.

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What's made you want to get into

modelling, then?

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Well, I've always been interested in

modelling.

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I just thought it would be great to

give it a go.

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After his brain haemorrhage,

he thought his dream was over,

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until his mum sent his photo to a

modelling agency.

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Yeah, it's been amazing since I've

joined.

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Which has just given me a lust

for life.

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Is that a phrase?

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Hello.

Hello.

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Are you relaxed?

Yeah.

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Ready for your haircut?

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I am. I feel dizzy after that.

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Very relaxing.

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Thank you.

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Hopefully, in years to

come, we'll see a rise

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in disabled modelling

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and a lot more disabled models

in the industry.

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How does that feel for you, Raf?

Like it.

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Definitely ready to model now.

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My dream is to model for a huge

high-street brand.

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Today, Lois is living that dream.

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She's in London for a photo shoot

for River Island.

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Sequin top.

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With these trousers.

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Yeah? Happy?

Yeah.

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Bye!

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Hello! Have a seat.

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OK.

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I do like purple.

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Is that your favourite?

Yeah.

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What do you like the most?

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The jacket, because it's very, very

soft.

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It is so soft.

I really like

the hair and make-up.

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Right, we're ready. Let's go.

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Are you ready for the main girl?

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Ready.

Get ready! Get ready.

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Lois, what music shall we put on

before we start?

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Little Mix - Power.

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No way!

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MUSIC: Power by Little Mix

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One, two, three.

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Yeah, you should do it to me.

I am so tired after that.

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Look, that one's funny.

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No, that looks so good.

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To be able to see herself

on screen in photographs

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really makes a difference.

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I did my filming and photo shoot.

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I loved it.

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Very tiring day.

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I'll go to sleep in the car

on the way home.

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It's the dress rehearsal for

tonight's charity fashion show.

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You two turn around, look as though

you're doing the business.

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OK. Who is with who?

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In a few hours, Rafi and the other

disabled models will be performing

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to a packed theatre.

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Don't walk too far ahead, so then

Rafi can put your hand out to Riley.

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Yeah.

So, get yourself steady,

take a deep breath,

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focus and then set off.

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You don't have to rush.

You hold back.

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You make sure he is

steady before you set off anyway.

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No rush on that one, you've got

all the time in the world.

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When the music starts, it's nearly

time to go.

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When all these seats have got

people...

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Oh, God. That will make me so

nervous.

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I suppose I'm worried about my

memory, really,

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if I ever forget what I'm meant to

do.

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The show is important for Rafi.

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It's five years to the day since

his injury.

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You'll be fine.

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I will try and make it a mental

reminder.

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Lucky for Rafi,

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his sister is on hand to keep him

calm and to do his make-up.

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You've come really far.

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It's good to have something like

this on a five-year anniversary.

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It just shows, doesn't it?

It really does, yeah.

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It just shows how far I've come,

really.

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Because five years ago, I would

never have even dreamed

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of being able to do this.

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Five years ago, I wasn't in the

state for doing anything then.

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Are you nervous?

As the night goes

on, I will be.

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I will start to get nervous.

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Side, side, go.

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I would like to change back in the

interviews

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because I think we've got

it into our heads

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that everyone

should look the same kind of way.

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There are different kinds of people

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and we are all beautiful in our own

way, really.

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At the moment, how many times

do you see a disabled person

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in a catalogue or something?

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Not that often.

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You might not have thought about

that before you were disabled.

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It never crossed your mind, did it?

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No. It didn't. But now I'm disabled

I notice it quite a lot, actually.

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It is quite important, isn't it?

Yeah.

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Rafi has to do three poses

at the end of his walk

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but he is worried about remembering

them.

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I will keep a lookout for you

and you can remind me.

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I've got to do those, have I?

0:17:560:17:57

Yeah.

One?

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Yeah.

One?

Oh. Not that!

0:17:590:18:04

One...two...

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..three.

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Oh, yeah.

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One... Just do them sitting down.

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Two...three.

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Fingers crossed, he's got it.

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This is it. Rehearsals are over

and all the models are ready to go.

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# Yeah, you could be the greatest

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# You can be the best

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# You can be the King Kong banging

on your chest

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# You could beat the world

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# You could beat the war

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# You could talk to God,

go banging on his door

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# You can throw your hands up

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# You can beat the clock... #

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It's Rafi's big moment.

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Do you know what you're doing?

Yeah.

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Go all the way to the end...

Yeah.

..turning.

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Get rid of the frame.

0:18:500:18:52

You put your hand on my shoulder and

then we wait, like,

0:18:520:18:57

a couple of seconds

and we'll go off.

0:18:570:19:00

# Pain

0:19:000:19:02

# You made me a, you made me a

believer, believer... #

0:19:020:19:06

Go!

0:19:080:19:09

# Oh, let the bullets fly

oh, let them rain

0:19:090:19:13

# My life, my love,

my drive, it came from...

0:19:130:19:16

# Pain

0:19:160:19:17

# You made me a, you made me

a believer, believer

0:19:170:19:22

# Third things third

0:19:220:19:24

# Send a prayer to the ones up above

0:19:240:19:27

# All the hate that you've heard

has turned your spirit to a dove

0:19:270:19:31

# Oh ooh

0:19:310:19:33

# Your spirit up above, oh ooh

0:19:330:19:38

# Pain

0:19:380:19:39

# You made me a, you made me a

believer, believer... #

0:19:390:19:43

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:19:430:19:45

Two out of three poses isn't bad,

Rafi.

0:19:480:19:50

Well done, guys.

0:19:520:19:53

He owned that catwalk.

0:19:530:19:55

But there is one extra special

surprise for Rafi.

0:19:550:19:59

I'd like to ask for Rafi to take a

step forward.

0:20:010:20:06

And Mum and Dad and sister.

0:20:060:20:08

So, five years ago today this

beautiful man,

0:20:110:20:15

this wonderful man, Rafi, he

had a brain haemorrhage.

0:20:150:20:20

So just to mark what an amazing sort

of recovery you have made

0:20:210:20:25

in those five years,

we've been joined by the team

0:20:250:20:30

that cared for you

when you were first in hospital.

0:20:300:20:34

And they've been hiding

somewhere, so they're still hiding.

0:20:360:20:39

Do you want to come up?

0:20:390:20:41

APPLAUSE

0:20:410:20:43

Today has been amazing.

0:20:460:20:49

To top it all off,

I saw all the old hospital doctors

0:20:490:20:55

and physios and all sorts.

0:20:550:20:58

You're amazing.

0:20:580:21:01

What a lovely surprise.

0:21:010:21:04

Loved it! I was not expecting that!

0:21:040:21:08

That was a massive surprise.

0:21:080:21:11

It was, yeah.

0:21:110:21:12

Rafi and Niall are so inspiring.

0:21:120:21:15

They're really changing the way

people think.

0:21:150:21:18

I want to become a model

just to show you can look pretty,

0:21:260:21:29

you can do everything that the role

models do,

0:21:290:21:31

even though you've got vitiligo or

even though you've got a condition.

0:21:310:21:34

Just because I've got vitiligo

doesn't change who I am.

0:21:340:21:38

Today I am doing some test shots at

a modelling agency

0:21:400:21:44

to see if I can get on their books.

0:21:440:21:47

Hey. Hey.

0:21:470:21:51

I hope that people do get more

confident seeing me

0:21:510:21:53

because when I saw Niall, I felt

a massive shot of confidence.

0:21:530:21:57

Let this one rest, so your foot

comes and rests on here.

0:21:590:22:03

You have to look as natural as you

can.

0:22:030:22:06

On your back, you've got quite a lot

of vitiligo, haven't you?

0:22:060:22:09

Yeah, is that right?

0:22:090:22:10

Wow! What a star!

0:22:130:22:16

I want people to know I'm not just

comfortable in my skin,

0:22:160:22:20

I'm proud of it.

0:22:200:22:21

These ones. These are my favourites.

0:22:210:22:24

I think you look beautiful.

0:22:240:22:25

Don't you? Yeah?

0:22:250:22:26

I loved it and looking back at

the photos, I was surprised

0:22:260:22:31

how beautiful I looked.

0:22:310:22:32

Maybe one day, I will be on the

cover of a magazine.

0:22:320:22:36

Well done. Nice to meet you.

0:22:360:22:38

Bye!

0:22:380:22:39

Safe journey back.

0:22:390:22:41

See you.

0:22:410:22:45

Rafi's on his way to Manchester

to meet Johnny at boohooMAN.

0:22:450:22:49

Are you excited?

I'm very excited.

0:22:490:22:52

Hi, Johnny. Nice to meet you.

0:22:560:22:58

Hi, Rafi. Nice to meet you.

I've got

a few questions I'd like to ask you.

0:22:580:23:02

I've had to write them down because

my memory is not that great, but...

0:23:040:23:09

No problem. Fire away.

0:23:090:23:11

There are 13 million disabled people

in the UK.

0:23:110:23:15

I just don't think they are being

represented in the modelling world

0:23:150:23:20

at the moment.

0:23:200:23:22

I agree. I think the fashion

industry can do a lot more

0:23:220:23:24

to be inclusive.

0:23:240:23:26

We haven't used a disabled model yet

for boohooMAN.

0:23:260:23:28

Boohoo use a disabled model in one

of their adverts.

0:23:280:23:31

We've done a good job using models

of different ethnicities and colours

0:23:310:23:34

and body types but I think it is

something we can really look to do,

0:23:340:23:38

to integrate disabled people into

our campaigns more.

0:23:380:23:41

Would you ever consider booking me

for your campaigns?

0:23:410:23:47

We'll have to see how you do

in the studio first.

0:23:470:23:50

That is the real test, isn't it?

0:23:500:23:51

This is the studio.

0:23:510:23:52

This is Cathy, the stylist.

0:23:540:23:57

Hi. How do you feel about yellow,

Rafi?

0:23:570:23:58

You all right trying that on?

Yellow is my guilty pleasure.

0:23:580:24:02

I like yellow.

0:24:020:24:03

I think these shoes are a little too

small for me.

0:24:030:24:07

Your toes are hanging over.

0:24:070:24:09

Yeah.

These are the joys of

modelling.

It's fashion, Rafi.

0:24:090:24:13

Cool. Perfect.

0:24:160:24:17

If you bring your head back,

slightly. That's nice.

0:24:170:24:21

It's really hard work

being a model.

0:24:210:24:23

Just looking straight to me.

Straight to camera. Nice. Keep that.

0:24:240:24:28

I think the problem with a lot of

people is,

0:24:280:24:32

they don't accept that they are

beautiful.

You love doing your hair.

0:24:320:24:37

That is your go-to pose.

0:24:370:24:38

That's a classic as well.

0:24:380:24:40

Absolutely nailed it!

0:24:400:24:42

It's just an instinct to see all

the negatives about yourself,

0:24:420:24:47

but if you look at yourself, there

are quite a lot of positives.

0:24:480:24:52

It takes people like yourself,

who can be seen as a role model,

0:24:520:24:55

who are willing to step outside

their comfort zone and do something

0:24:550:24:58

different, which is only really seen

for able-bodied people.

0:24:580:25:02

There is no reason why disabled

people can't do that

0:25:020:25:05

and if you work hard and you're

dedicated to it and learn and listen

0:25:050:25:09

to other people, it will come.

0:25:090:25:11

That's the money shot.

0:25:110:25:13

That is the money shot.

0:25:130:25:14

I think today went really well.

0:25:140:25:17

Who knows what the future holds?

0:25:170:25:20

But I'm excited.

0:25:200:25:22

I recently saw a viral video online

which has motivated me

0:25:240:25:28

to make my own version.

0:25:280:25:30

I've realised I am beautiful and I

want to show my friends that too,

0:25:320:25:36

and hopefully I can make a mini

film.

0:25:360:25:38

I want to try something.

0:25:380:25:40

It might be a little bit weird

but I need Grace first.

0:25:400:25:42

I just wanted to bring you upstairs

to tell you that you're beautiful.

0:25:460:25:49

Aw! So cute!

0:25:490:25:51

I just want to say I think you're

beautiful.

0:25:530:25:55

BOTH:

Thank you!

0:25:560:25:58

I just want you to know that you are

beautiful.

0:25:580:26:00

I think you're beautiful.

0:26:050:26:06

Thank you.

0:26:070:26:08

I don't know what to say.

0:26:090:26:11

No-one really gives you

compliments, like, now,

0:26:130:26:18

to be honest, like, so it's a bit...

0:26:180:26:20

..funny to hear something like that.

0:26:210:26:23

I don't think I've ever had anyone

say anything that

0:26:250:26:28

nice to me before.

0:26:280:26:29

I've never heard that from friends

before.

0:26:290:26:31

No, friends never say it, so, thank

you.

0:26:310:26:34

But actually, that means a lot,

like, to me as a person.

0:26:340:26:38

I haven't really had the confidence

before, like,

0:26:410:26:45

from someone actually telling me

that, so thank you.

0:26:450:26:49

It's OK.

0:26:490:26:51

I did that because I thought that

you should all know that, like,

0:26:520:26:57

you're all beautiful and I love you,

like, loads and loads.

0:26:570:27:00

We love you too.

Thank you.

0:27:000:27:02

There's so much pressure to look

like the models we see in the media

0:27:040:27:08

but the world would be a very boring

place if we all looked the same.

0:27:080:27:12

Models like Rafi, Lois and Niall are

beginning to change

0:27:120:27:17

the face of beauty, but telling your

friends they're beautiful

0:27:170:27:22

can make a big difference too.

0:27:220:27:24

# You could be the greatest

0:27:240:27:25

# You can be the best

0:27:250:27:27

# You can be the

King Kong banging on your chest

0:27:270:27:29

# You could beat the world

0:27:290:27:31

# You could beat the war

0:27:310:27:32

# You could talk to God, go banging

on his door

0:27:320:27:35

# You can throw your hands up

0:27:350:27:37

# You can beat the clock

0:27:370:27:38

# You can move a mountain

0:27:380:27:39

# You can break rocks

0:27:390:27:41

# Standing in the hall of fame. #

0:27:410:27:42

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.