This Aspiring Model Is Gender-Fluid And Differently-Abled — And She's Ready For Her Close-Up

"I just keep on working hard and succeeding! Confidence is everything.”

It only takes one fateful moment for someone to become a star, and Aaron Philip is owning her moment.  The 16-year-old aspiring model recently went viral when she shared some gorgeous test shots on Twitter

"Honestly, when I get scouted/discovered by a modeling agency it's OVER for y'all," Philip warned in her tweet. "By y'all i mean the WORLD! It's real inclusivity/diversity hours folks, get into it!"

Philip identifies as a non-binary femme person and uses female pronouns and "they/them" to describe herself. She is also differently-abled, and wants to make space for unrepresented groups in the fashion industry.  She told A Plus, "My interest in modeling is driven by seeking positivity, [and] to bring visibility to myself and those in my position who are Black, physically disabled and/or trans in the world of art/fashion through being seen and represented as muses. I want to make my own beauty standard as a person who claims several marginalized identities, and be able to amplify the voice of my community as an aspiring supermodel."

The photos, taken by photographer Jasmine Weber, left the Twitterverse in awe. 

"Jasmine and I had been following each other on Twitter for awhile and one day she messaged me saying she'd really love to do my headshots for modeling agencies/submissions," Philip said of how the shoot came together. "We met up, and we've been very close friends since. We connect so well and practically share the same dreamy, ethereal energy we perceive ourselves in. It's so special. Every success is shared with her, I make sure she gets credit for all of her hard work!"

While the viral photo has given her major attention, Philip's Instagram account, which has over 6,000 followers and counting, is a full gallery of inspiration. 

"This makes me proud to be disabled. Thank you so much," said one follower. 

"From a fellow disabled sister - thank u. ur work means the world to me. Rooting for you all the wayyy," said another.

While there were a few trolls who left negative comments, Philip remains confident. "I'm incredibly grateful and excited for all the attention I've received, regardless as to whether it's good or bad," she said. "The positives have been very positive and kind and receptive, but the negative attention has consisted of very ableist, transmisogynistic people telling me awful things. However, I never let anybody dictate my worth or beauty, especially from behind a screen. I just keep on working hard and succeeding! Confidence is everything."

The young aspiring talent hopes to evoke such confidence in others through her career goals. She told A Plus, "I hope that through my modeling career, I'm able to bring an entirely new and fresh perspective to the way the world perceives my community. I want us to be recognized for the worth, importance, love and respect we deserve in a mainstream and celebratory light."

With activism and awareness taking a front seat more and more, people are able to redefine beauty for themselves and in the fashion industry.

"I want to see the fashion world giving a platform to all who  are deserving of it," Philip said of her ideal fashion future. "Identity doesn't dictate beauty, there is no true face to beauty. However, you can definitely give a voice and opportunity to those who are beautiful that don't fit the norm of fashion's current beauty standards and that's exactly what's needed."

(H/T: Yahoo Lifestyle)

Cover image via Twitter/ @aaronphilipxo 


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