Earlier in the year as I cruised through my Instagram feed, Haitian model Ralph Souffrant’s skin was a breath of fresh air. Before that moment, I hadn’t seen anyone with the kind of freckles he had, so he became interesting to me. As a lover of all shapes, sizes, and representations of beauty, I started to follow him on Instagram. Born in Haiti, Souffrant moved to Brooklyn, New York as soon as his mother had the opportunity to provide a better life for her son. It hasn’t been an easy road for the young model, but he has preserved and loves himself more than he did in his youth.
In a 2016 interview with i-D, Souffrant advised people struggling with their appearance and differences.
Love yourself. When people don’t understand something they tend to be afraid of it… Shun it. Your exterior is like wrapping paper, people only notice it for a moment. What they notice more is what’s beneath the surface so, work on your character and your heart. That’s what they’ll remember you by. Because that’s what matters.
After walking for Kanye West in 2016, he has also worked for adidas and IVY PARK by Beyoncé. In my opinion, the Re:Quest Model Management model has a unique look like Aleece Wilson and Winnie Harlow (or Chantelle Brown-Young) that makes me excited because when there’s other children or young people who need to see representation they can relate to, they may find it in them.