Vogue recently described 18-year-old Salem Mitchell as the fashion world’s It Model. With large Bambi eyes, full lips and a face full of distinctive freckles, it’s not hard to see why the SoCal beauty just landed a major modelling contract with Ford Models. Not bad for a girl whose freckles were once compared to a “bruised banana” and a “cheetah” by hateful Internet bullies.
people making fun of my banana freckles turned into a modeling career, thanks if you’ve ever said anything good or bad it worked in my favor pic.twitter.com/N1z2BdaXWG
— SALEM (@salemmitchell) February 3, 2017
“I remember constantly looking up agencies/their requirements, sending photos to different stores like American Apparel, and taking photos with all my friends at school,” Mitchell stated. She further dabbled in modelling after her classmates at San Diego State University took photos of her for a school photography class.
Mitchell posted the pics to Instagram and began to steadily build a following — except the unique beauty that made her a favourite amongst photographers also made her the target of cruel Internet trolls.
“I got popular on social media mostly by people making fun of me,” Mitchell said in an interview with The San Diego Voice. “I have a lot of freckles, which I don’t see as a problem, but apparently a lot of people haven’t seen them before. People would say I looked like a banana or a cheetah or like I had a skin disease.”
Mitchell epically clapped back against her Internet haters in the most vogue way possible, by doing a photoshoot with the very bruised bananas that her haters compared her to — a move that went viral and gained the unearthly beauty some major attention in the fashion industry.
“If people are going to laugh at me, I’m going to laugh with them and I’m going to be in charge of the jokes that are about me,” Mitchell joked as she posed side-by-side with the bananas.
Photographers took notice of Mitchell’s ingenious photos and began booking her for major jobs. She graced the pages of Vogue, was featured in the Urban Outfitters “Love Stories” campaign and even modelled for Beyonce’s Lemonade merchandise line.
The Ford contract comes as a “dream come true,” for the young model. “I’ve always wanted to model but there was a point where I thought it was unattainable,” she stated. “Super happy that I get to be apart of such a great agency and that the modeling/fashion industry has started to become so much more inclusive.”
What a role model! Let us know what you think of Salem Mitchell by tweeting @YahooStyleCA!