Xueli Abbing is a 16-year-old girl who was adopted by a Dutch family and started modeling from the age of 11.
Xueli Abbing was abandoned by her biological parents at birth as she was born with Albinism. A genetic disease that causes the absence of the pigment, melanin on the skin.
According to Golocast, She was left at an orphanage and her parents never cared or asked after her.
She was later adopted by a Dutch family at the age of three and relocated with her adoptive mother and sister, Yara to the Netherlands.
Luck seems to be on her side as she was approached by a Hong Kong designer to model for Photoshop specifically aimed to show different kinds of beauty.
“She called the campaign ‘perfect imperfections’ and asked if I wanted to join her fashion show in Hong Kong. That was an amazing experience.” She added, “After that, I was invited on a couple of photoshoots and one of them was for Brock Elbank at his studio in London.
He published my portrait on Instagram. Zebedee Talent modeling agency got in touch and asked if I wanted to join them in their mission to get people with disabilities represented in the fashion industry, she said while talking to BBC.
In Vogue Italia’s June 2019 issue, one of her pictures which weretaken by Elbank got featured and she never realized it was a big deal at first.
At the time, I didn’t know what an important magazine it was and it took me a while to realize why people got so excited about it, she told BBC.
She feels like being different has actually brought her more blessings than she ever imagined and she is going to use her platform to raise awareness on Albinism.
Models with albinism often get stereotyped in shoots to depictangels or ghosts and it makes me sad, she said.
According to Yara, her sister, and social media manager, “She works as a model in order to raise awareness around albinism and to show others that people with disabilities are ‘normal’ as well and can perfectly participate in society.” Photoshoots are especially challenging for Abbing, who has just 8 to 10% eyesight and can’t stare directly at flashes because it hurts her eyes.
Nonetheless, she models because she enjoys being able to display a different type of beauty than what is generally seen. “I want to use modeling to talk about albinism and say it’s a genetic disorder, it’s not a curse,” added Abbing. “The way to talk about it is to say ‘a person with albnism’ because being ‘an albino’ sounds as if it defines who you are.” She goes ahead to say, “I want to change the world.”