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Girl abandoned by parents for her looks wants to prove the world wrong – now she models for Vogue


Having your parents around in your childhood gives you a sense of security.

If you were forced to grow up without your parents or know that your parents abandoned you, it is likely that when you grow up you will feel resentment towards your parents.

Xueli Abbing is a 16-year-old girl born in China, abandoned by her parents at birth. She was left at the door of the orphanage and her parents' identities were not known at all.

She was named by the staff at the orphanage, 'Xue' in her name means snow while 'Li' means beautiful. She was given this name because she was born with albinism.

Albinism is an inherited condition that results in a decrease in the pigment melanin in a person and leaves their skin, hair, and eyes pale.

She was adopted by a family in the Netherlands, who provided her with a loving home. When she was 11 years old, she was asked by a designer in Hong Kong to model for a photo shoot where he wanted to show various beauties.

"She called the campaign 'perfect imperfection' and asked me if I wanted to join her fashion show in Hong Kong," Abbing said in an interview with the BBC. “It was a great experience,” she added.

People with albinism are discriminated against in many parts of the world. In some cases, they are even 'hunted' for the mistaken belief that their bones have healing properties. “I'm lucky I just got dumped,” Abbing said.

At times even models with albinism can be used as props to depict angels or ghosts, about which, Abbing says, “It makes me sad.”

But Abbing was lucky enough to work with a photographer from London who treated her like any model should be treated. The result was a stunning photoshoot. One of the images from it was even sold to Vogue Italia for its June 2019 issue.

“At the time, I had no idea how important the magazine was, and it took me a while to realize why people were so excited about it,” recalls.

Being a model comes with its own set of hurdles for Abbing. She has 8 to 10% eyesight and so looking directly into the camera flash causes her pain. But she still wants to represent people like her who don't have the usual beauty and that keeps her going.

“There are still models who are eight feet tall and skinny but now people with disabilities or differences are featured more in the media and this is great – but that should be normal,” she says. in the interview.

“Maybe because I can't see things correctly, I focus more on people's voices and what they say,” she said. “So their inner beauty is more important to me,” she said.

She hopes to make a difference in the world and educate people about her condition. “I want to use the stereotype to talk about albinism and say it's a genetic disorder, it's not a curse,” she said. "The way to go about it is to say 'one with albinism' because 'an albino' sounds as if it defines who you are."

“I will not accept children being murdered because of their albinism. I want to change the world,” she said.

We wish Xueli Abbing the best of luck in her journey. We are sure that she will inspire and educate thousands of people around the world.



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