Sara Geurts Has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, But She Still Slays The Modeling Game
There can be a lot of emotional baggage to contend with when it comes to dealing with the skin you're in -- particularly because it's pretty much beyond your control.
But when you have a rare skin condition, that's a whole different type of baggage to deal with.
And yet, Sara, Geurts, a 26-year-old model with Ehlers-Danos syndrome, is just crushing her way through life and thriving in her industry.
In a world where the definition of beauty can often feel so ridiculously narrow, and where cyber-bullying is palpably real when people dare to look different from the norm, something as simple as courage in a different kind of skin is awe-inspiring, to say the least.
Geurts was born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare, genetic connective tissue disorder.
The condition interferes with the collagen inside of her body needed to maintain the structure of the skin, joints, and tissue that support internal organs.
As a result, her joints are overly flexible, moving beyond the normal range (and, as a result, are prone to dislocation), and her skin (which, unfortunately, tears and bruises easily) has taken on a velvety smooth, wrinkled appearance.
Geurts knew she was different since she was only 10 years old, when her skin and joints didn't look like that of her peers.
But, much like her bold self that she is today, the model told Mic she thought it was "so cool because no other kid could do the things that I could with my skin and joints."
Now, Geurts' mission is to combat the modeling industry's often ridiculous vision of "perfection."
She told Mic,
By putting my 'imperfections' out there, it's almost like a slap in the face to the industry: shock factor, a sense of rebellion. By going against what the 'norm' is within the industry and getting such positive feedback, it really enforces my vision of myself, the journey I am on, and just being perfectly imperfect.
And, in case you were wondering, Geurts is definitely not the only model who, despite looking a little different from the others, continues to stomp through the fashion industry with anything short of pride.
Other models with rare skin conditions, like Mirian Njoh and Ralph Souffrant, are just as unapologetic for loving the skin they're in.
Mirian Njoh, who spent a great deal of her life navigating the struggles of albinism, has come out on top of those hardships as a successful stylist, model, photographer, and blogger.
And Ralph Souffrant -- who has a skin condition similar to vitiligo, only, he basically looks like he's covered in freckles -- had the #blessed opportunity to model for Kanye West's clothing line at the Yeezy Season 3 show, where he was signed and booked with an agency that very same day.
You see, when you walk with pride in your truth, your beauty naturally radiates for others to see.
There's truly nothing more beautiful than the authenticity each and every person on this earth has to offer.
You were born with your skin for a reason -- own it for exactly what it is, and nothing less.