People with unusual appearances have every right to make themselves known in the world of fashion. They help to expand the limits of what we think a beautiful model should look like.
We at Bright Side decided to tell you the stories of some of those brave people who aren’t embarrassed to not look like everyone else. They prove that real human beings are far more interesting and diverse than the ideal images we see in magazines.
Sara is just 26, but she looks a lot older. This is down to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which impedes the production of the collagen responsible for the skin’s elasticity.
At school, Sara was embarrassed by her condition and always covered herself up. But in 2015, she found the courage to reveal herself to the world in order to support women who compare themselves negatively to stereotypes of ideal beauty.
The model Nyadak Thot from South Sudan, commonly known as Duckie, looks very much like a Barbie doll. Strange as it is, her ideal features caused her to receive some abuse online when she was just 17. When she won first place in the Next Top Model competition in Australia, she was accused of having an unnatural appearance.
“People will always say bad things about you, but their opinions don’t define who you are,” she says.
Caitin was born with cat eye syndrome, which makes her look somewhat different to most people. V Magazine photographer Nick Knight saw her photos on Instagram and was so astonished by her appearance that he invited her in for a photo shoot.
“I never dreamed of being a model. I always enjoyed fashion from afar,” says Caitin. Now she has the opportunity to work with some of the most famous names in the business.
Cassandra has suffered from acne since she was a child. It covers her face, chest, and back. She even had to give up school because of the ridicule she faced from her classmates.
One day, she created a YouTube channel where she began to reveal the story of her fight against spots. It became very popular, and soon she was receiving offers for work in the modeling business. Cassandra aims to show through her own example that a person can be beautiful regardless of their physical imperfections.
This young man from Haiti has red hair and a stream of freckles all over his body. These are extremely rare features indeed for someone with black skin, and Souffrant quite eagerly compares himself to a giraffe or leopard.
“Today I’m proud of my freckles, but I used to hate them,“ he says. ”They helped me pull my family out of poverty.”
Natalia Castellar Calvani
Natalia is a model from the US with Puerto Rican roots. She has very thick, large eyebrows, which her classmates often used to make fun of her for when she was a child.
But this changed when she caught the attention of representatives from the modeling agency Next Models. Her sense of self-worth grew, and she realized that her brows were her standout feature. She only regrets that she didn’t learn to love them earlier.
Devon Aoki is the shortest supermodel in the world at just 1.65 m tall. But this never affected her career: she’s been called one of the best models of the ’90s and has starred in movies like 2 Fast 2 Furious and Sin City. Devon’s appearance is unique, for the chances are you’ve never seen another red-haired Asian lady with freckles and thick lips.
26-year-old Rain Dove is photographed in 2 different ways: as a man and as a woman. Nature gifted her with an unusual and slightly masculine appearance.
“Many people think I’m a man that gave himself breasts, and I seriously find it funny. I never thought of myself as androgynous. I just thought I was terribly ugly,“ says Rain. ”But then I understood that I can do something that others can’t.”
Erika Linder is another model who can masterfully impersonate a man, although she actually looks nothing like one. The world found out about her in 2011, when she was photographed looking like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Erika says that her imagination is too rich to restrict her to portraying only one gender. When she styles herself as a man, she even mimics male gestures, like a real actor.
Darius Vernon suffers from vitiligo, a condition where stains lacking in pigment appear on the skin. He was ridiculed for many years because of this and almost committed suicide. But one day he realized that being liked by everyone is not possible.
Darius has managed to become a highly sought-after model, and now he has the opportunity to show everyone that beauty comes in many different forms.
Xing Ye Zhi Jian
Xing Ye Zhi Jian, from China, quite simply blew up the Internet thanks to his unbelievable appearance. It’s almost as if he’s too beautiful for this world.
Some people admire him as a “Chinese elf”; others don’t appreciate his femininity. This just proves once again that there will always be someone out there who doesn’t appreciate us, no matter how ideal we are.
Preview photo credit raindovemodel