Xueli Abbing: Abandoned as a baby due to Albinism, models for Vogue
1 in 20,000 people worldwide are born with a genetic condition called albinism, and you would think that by now, given the ease with which information is accessible today, people should be aware of this. Places where people with this disease stand out from the crowd and turn their heads for the wrong reasons, like Africa or Asia. In China, albinism is viewed as a curse or crippling social and economic burden, so many children never get around to moving to a loving home after coming into this world. A girl was expelled from an orphanage in China about 16 years ago because it looked different and was predestined to have no or at least a very difficult future.
Fortunately, at the age of 3, Xueli was adopted by the Abbing family from the Netherlands and moved to the Netherlands to live with their new mother and sister. A unique look led Xueli into the modeling industry at the age of 11, where she landed a platform to celebrate. Differences, raising awareness of albinism and inspiring others to embrace its natural beauty. To this day she can be seen in Vogue and has worked with the world’s best photographers and top brands in the fashion industry.
Albinism is a hereditary genetic disorder caused by a lack of melanin, the pigment that forms in the skin, hair, and eyes. It is found in all ethnic and racial groups, and levels of pigmentation can vary depending on the type. It can contain multiple skins. and vision complications, so albinos need to be extremely careful. Xueli eyes are extremely sensitive to bright light as she only has eight to ten percent vision.
Since you cannot look directly at the light, you will find that you are being photographed with your eyes closed. In most of the photos. Together with one of her photos on Instagram, Xueli reports on her experience: “I hardly open my eyes during photo shoots because the light is almost always too bright. When I open my eyes, I usually press them …
Xuelis sister, Yara, who manages her social media and every so often images Xueli, told Bored Panda:
“She works as a version so as to increase attention round albinism and to reveal others that human beings with disabilities are regular as nicely and might flawlessly take part in society.”
Xueli shared her very own tale with BBC. She unfolded approximately how the modeling enterprise is changing:
“In modelling, searching unique is a blessing now no longer a curse and it offers me a platform to elevate focus of albinism.
There are nevertheless fashions who’re like 8 foot and thin however now human beings with disabilities or variations are featured greater withinside the media and that is great—however it have to be normal. Models with albinism regularly get stereotyped in shoots to depict angels or ghosts and it makes me sad. Especially as it perpetuates the ones ideals that endanger the lives of kids with albinism in international locations which include Tanzania and Malawi.”
Xueli is represented by a revolutionary talent agency, Zebedee Management, which focuses on people with disabilities and visible differences. The agency is trying to change the game in the fashion, advertising and other media industries so that their campaigns are as diverse as our society.
Zebedee Management writes on its website: “Disability has often been taken out of the diversity debate, and we often get casting calls looking for diversity but not mentioning disability. Disability seems to be the last taboo; no, we want to, we want it to be the norm that advertising with people with disabilities becomes commonplace.
Xueli uses modeling to talk about albinism because she refuses to accept inequality and wants to “change the world”. She told the BBC: “I want other children with albinism or any form of disability or difference to know that they can do and be what they want. I am different in some ways and the same in others. I love Sports and climbing and I can do it as well as anyone, people might say you can’t do things, but you can just try.