BLACK VOICES

Shaun Ross, Albino Model, Challenges Fashion And Beauty Standards (VIDEO)

09/11/2013 10:41 am ET | Updated Sep 11, 2013

With allegations of "racism" on the runway being hurled, we've been on a serious #BlackModelWatch as New York Fashion Week continues. But let's take a moment to consider the black model who is actually colorless.

Enter, Shaun Ross -- a model with albinism.

CNN caught up with the 22-year-old New Yorker, who was born with the congenital disorder that affects melanin production resulting in little or no pigmentation in the skin, eye and hair, to learn more about his unlikely career as a model, how he deals with being "different" and redefining the standards of beauty.

"I was always the outcast, but a confident outcast," Ross told CNN. "I just had to accept it. I'm going to be me; either you're going to accept it or you're not."

And Ross, who uses the word "euphoric" to define his look, isn't the only model with albinism opening minds. Diandra Forrest and Thando Hopa are also working within the fashion industry and changing perceptions of beauty.

"That guy [Ross] is unbelievably good-looking in an unbelievably bizarre way," Angus Munro, a top model casting director, told CNN. "But many designers haven't thought that way."

Despite those limitations, Ross, has experienced a significant level of success. He has appeared in numerous fashion magazines (including British GQ and Vogue Italia), worked the fashion week runway for the likes of Alexander McQueen and you may recognize him from a few music videos -- Beyoncé's "Party" and Katy Perry's "E.T."


Check out the video of Ross above and head over to CNN.com to read the full interview.

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