Cape Town’s own Chad Esau (21) hailing from Bellville is changing the perceptions of beauty in South Africa and the world one fabulous picture at a time.

Esau was born with vitiligo, pronounced (vit-ih-LIE-go), a skin condition which causes loss of skin colour and often forms in blotches around different areas of the body.

In Esau’s case most of his upper body as well as his face are affected. After years of bullying for being different this young man from the Cape Flats has come to love his skin and has now thrown his hat in the ring to be the country’s next Mr South Africa.

“I was bullied, with kids calling me ugly everywhere I went. I remember in Grade 1, coming from school crying to my mom, saying I don’t want to go back to school,” Esau told IOL.


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Like wildflower, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.

A post shared by Chad Carlton Esau (@chad_carlton_esau) on

“I used to isolate myself from others because that’s how they made me feel,” says Esau.

The modeling and fashion industry both international and national has often been criticised for creating unhealthy images of beauty.

It is because of these advertised “norms” that many people who are different or do not fit the mold and are judged by others who are familiar with this idea of beauty.

A great example of another model breaking challenging this idea of beauty is Winnie Harlow from Canada. Harlow also has vitiligo but has become a fashion sensation as her unique skin makes her stand out from the crowd and is something she can be proud of rather than ashamed of.


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Brownie Harlow 🍫🍰💦

A post shared by ♔Jamaican Canadian♔ (@winnieharlow) on

His chance to be a model came to him after he prayed for it.

“I got a job at a coffee shop called Doughnut Hive and Subz in GrandWest food court. I was working the graveyard shift and an agent came to me asking if I wanted to be a model and I said yes. It was random and I was shocked because it’s the thing I prayed for the morning before,” says Esau.

Help him get to into the Top 20 by voting. Simply SMS MRSA74 to 40439 to cast your vote.

Picture: Instagram

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