Winnie Harlow made history on Friday when she became the first model with Vitiligo to be cast in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But not everyone was so happy. After her casting, past comments from the 24-year-old recirculated on the internet of her insulting model Duckie Thot’s natural hair, leading to intense criticism.
As reported by BET, the exchange happened in 2016 when Thot, a fellow Victoria’s Secret model and an Australia’s Next Top Model alum, was asked to wear her hair natural for the brand Dinosaur Designs. In a now-deleted Instagram, Thot said that she was hesitant to wear her hair natural after negative experiences on Australia’s Next Top Model. “On one of the episodes I had to cornrow my own hair. I was extremely upset and embarrassed that they ‘didn’t know how’ to cornrow my natural hair when at the end of the day that’s their job,” she wrote. “I sat in front of the mirror silently crying before my shoot doing my own hair, cameras rolling while all the other girls had hair stylists.”
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Soft Saturday palette. Visit us online or in-store to shop our new ColourBlock collection. Photographed by @bec_parsons, styled by @markvassallo, makeup by @kelliestrattonmakeup, hair by @michmcquillan, modelled by @duckie_thot #dinosaurdesigns #colourblock #collection #art #jewellery #design
When the campaign was released, Thot was met with an overwhelming amount of support for wearing her natural hair. But not everyone was so supportive. In 2016, Harlow reposted a picture from Thot’s Dinosaur Designs campaign on her Snapchat, with a caption comparing Thot’s hair to “cauliflower.” “LMFAO! WHAT ARE THOOOOOSEEEEE cauliflower ass head,” Harlow wrote.
After Harlow’s comment, Thot edited her Instagram caption to shame the America’s Next Top Model alum for mocking her natural hair. “It’s not fun being bullied for something you can’t control and to have a top model woman of color who I thought encouraged acceptance and self love call me out for rocking my natural hair isn’t cool at all,” Thot wrote.
Harlow went on to apologize for her comment in a Snapchat video (which you can watch here), claiming that her “joking” wasn’t her suggesting that she thought that anyone’s natural hair was “lesser than” and that she believes that “all [hair] is beautiful.” But not everyone was so convinced. After her Victoria’s Secret casting news, many Twitter users brought up Harlow’s past comments, criticizing her for looking down on another black model.
Both Thot and Harlow will be walking in the upcoming 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It will be both their first time.