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Winnie Harlow says ‘Sports Illustrated’ opportunity is a ‘dream’

The 24-year-old model has revealed she’s fulfilled a long-held ambition by appearing in the pages of the iconic magazine issue.

Model Winnie Harlow. Picture: @officialwinnieharlow/Facebook.com.

LONDON - According to Winnie Harlow, starring in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is “an absolute dream”.

The 24-year-old model has revealed she’s fulfilled a long-held ambition by appearing in the pages of the iconic magazine issue, which has previously featured the likes of Elle Macpherson and Kate Upton.

Harlow - who was diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo at the age of four - said: “Being able to say that I am in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is an absolute dream that I never thought would come true.

“As a little girl from Canada, it was hard to imagine growing up that I could be just like the gorgeous women that I saw on billboards, on the runway and in any magazine.

“There are certain milestones in a model’s career that just make you feel like you have truly succeeded when they happen and making my SI Swim debut is one of those huge moments. It’s a complete honour not just as a model, but as a woman of colour with vitiligo.”

Harlow said being the first model with the skin condition to feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue represents a milestone for the industry.

She told People: “I’m so excited for people to see vitiligo be put under such a beautiful, sexy light and prove that our bodies can be celebrated. And this goes for all body types and conditions. We’re redefining the swimsuit body.”

Harlow’s appearance in the magazine has also thrilled her family.

She said: “They have been so supportive throughout my entire career, so making my debut in SI Swim reminds not just me, but them, why I do what I do and affirms their never-ending support.

“I hope I can continue to make them proud.”

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