Winnie Harlow. Picture: Winnie Harlow/Instagram

The 23-year-old model Winnie Harlow, who suffers from the skin pigment condition vitiligo, has taken to social media to speak out about her opinion on what the meaning of beauty is.

Alongside a picture of the catwalk icon sporting nothing but a neutral-coloured thong, which she posted on her Instagram account, she wrote: "the real difference isn't my skin. It's the fact that I don't find my beauty in the opinions of others. (sic)."

And the fashion muse has revealed she does not need the reassurance from other people about her appearance, because she "knows" she is "beautiful". 

She continued: "I'm beautiful because I know it. Celebrate Your unique beauty today (& everyday)! (sic)."

The Toronto-born star's outspoken post comes as no surprise because she has previously admitted she is a "tough guy" and will "muscle through" any problems she is faced with. 

Speaking previously, she said: "My best friend teases me about being such a 'tough guy'.

"I always muscle through my problems, but there are still times I'll call her and cry at night because things get tough.

"Then the next day, I'll be like, 'Cry? Who me? Nah, thugs don't cry' and she'll just laugh like, 'Yeah, right.'"

Winnie's thick skinned personality comes from when she was bullied for her appearance when she was a child, which caused her to eventually realise her own opinion was what counted and stopped listening to the hurtful comments.

She said: "The only reason I didn't like my skin is because I was told it wasn't what's right. Or I was told it wasn't normal.

"But who's to say that? Eventually I learned that my opinion of myself matters so much more than anyone else's and I wish I'd known it earlier.

"One day I just didn't give a f**k anymore."

Although Winnie is pleased people find her "inspirational" but she won't go out of her way to change her behaviour to set a good example as she has insisted she isn't a role model.

She explained: "I'm breaking boundaries. But I definitely don't want to be called a role model."