This 26-Year-Old Model Isn’t Letting Her Rare Skin Condition Define Her Beauty
Every Body celebrates inclusivity and the representation of human beings in every shape and form.
Women are publicly challenging the ideals of beauty and perfection — and being celebrated for it — more than ever before: Ash Soto turned her vitiligo into stunning artwork, and Spanish artist Cinta Tort Cartró sees stretch marks as vibrant expressions of self-love. The latest young woman to openly celebrate her so-called flaws is 26-year-old Sara Geurts, who is thriving as a model with a very visible skin condition not commonly seen in the fashion industry.
Geurts was only 10 when she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a disorder caused by a defect in the body’s collagen. It affects connective tissues, resulting in, in Geurts’s case, very prematurely wrinkled and sagging skin. For years she covered it up as best as she could, but as it started showing more and more, she struggled with insecurities that ultimately became a burden on her mental health and on her relationships. Then, everything flipped.
“My whole mindset changed,” she says. The shift happened when both Geurts’ cousin and her now-girlfriend urged her to submit her story to the Love Your Lines Instagram campaign, dedicated to celebrating imperfection.
“I was able to look at myself, and my disorder, in a completely different light,” says Geurts. “I saw myself as beautiful, and my imperfections my own. They represented me and the journey and struggle I had been on.”
Geurts was overwhelmed by the positive responses and offers that started filling her inboxes, and as much as her own self-assuredness was the catalyst for her new mindset, Geurts does stress the importance of a supportive community to keep you going. “Keep those who are true and good for the soul close, and those who hinder your spirits far away.”
Geurts has now made it her mission to not only raise awareness for Ehlers-Danlos through her modeling and photography work, but to change the idea of perfection within the media and fashion industries, and, she tells us, she plans to keep “riding this wave.”
“People who look different are not being properly represented in our media,” she says. “No matter what society tells us, our imperfections are our own perfections. They need to be celebrated.”
Do you celebrate yourself exactly as you are? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via @sarageurts/Briana Berglund)