Woman with rare skin condition beats the odds to become a model
Melanie Gaydos from Connecticut always wanted to do something great in life. "I always had this fascination of being larger than life. I wanted to be on a billboard or on a big movie screen," explains the 27-year-old. Melanie decided to start responding to Craigslist ads that were looking for "unique" models. And why unique? Because Melanie was born with ectodermal dysplasia, a condition that causes abnormal development of the skin, nails, hair, teeth or sweat glands.
Her condition has also left her partially blind because as child her eyelashes grew so long they ended up damaging her eyes. In addition to ectodermal dysplasia, Melanie also has alopecia which has left her completely bald.
Yet despite all of the obstacles life has put in her way, Melanie has not given up on her dreams. It was a boyfriend who first encouraged her to go to some castings and soon she was getting small jobs as a model. But it wasn't all smooth sailing and she has faced some criticism along the way. "People are more comfortable when I have teeth in my mouth. But I'm not," she explains. “People used to ask me: How do you eat without teeth? Well, people with no legs run marathons. It’s all a matter of perception.'
Here are some examples of her very "unique" modelling:
After a life full of difficulties, at 26 Melanie went through an aesthetic transformation program called The Doctors, where she was given dental implants. However, eight months later Melanie decided to get rid of them. Although she thought this would be life-changing, she soon realized that she was happy the way she was.
And the truth is that Melanie has achieved her dreams and even counts Miley Cyrus as one of her fans. When asked if she is resentful towards the world, she offers a confident reply: "No. It doesn’t bother me, and it never did. Or if it did, it’s because it was something people were telling me I should be upset about." And she is really not upset. On the contrary: Melanie is very proud of everything she has achieved and has learned to accept herself as she is. What a great example of self-confidence!