People often say that beauty is only skin deep, that "the essential things in life are seen not with the eyes"... But is it really possible to follow such principles when you're constantly surrounded by images of airbrushed bodies, makeup advertisements, dieting tips and whatnot, screaming that you need to look a certain way to be beautiful?
It takes courage. It takes determination and love. This woman has all of that.
Isa-Bella Leclair, a 19-year-old Canadian, was born with a rare genetic condition known as Parkes Weber syndrome and suffers from lymphedema, a side effect of PWS, which prevents lymph fluid from draining well and causes abnormal swelling in certain body parts.
As a result, Leclair's right leg is almost twice the size of her left leg and sometimes weighs as much as 40 pounds.
The condition also causes congenital heart failure and dangerous infections. Not to mention the toll it can have on a person's social life.
Leclair says that most people who see her leg for the first time think it's broken or that she had a surgery. But Isa-Bella always assures it's something she was born with.
Isa-Bella says that living with this condition has certainly prevented her from doing certain things in life. Because of her heart problems, she has to be really careful with active sports and is not allowed to do cardio.
But does that stop her from enjoying life? NOT. AT. ALL.
"Because I was born with the malformation, I had no other choice but to get used to people staring and asking me questions. My condition doesn't define me and no way I will let it stop me from wearing a cute swimsuit or a cute dress," she writes in her letter.
To put her money where her mouth is, Leclair has recently shared a powerful image of herself wearing a swimsuit and shutting down haters with a perfect "born this way" quote.
Isa-Bella believes that confidence is the most important trait a human being can have: "When people see someone confident in their body — even with a handicap — they don’t have pity but instead admiration."
Leclair hopes her story will have a good influence on people and will help re-evaluate society's beauty standards.
It seems like her plan is working! Leclair recently won a local beauty pageant, and hopes this will help her reach and inspire even more people.
Watch this video to learn more about Isa-Bella Leclair and her unique condition:
(H/T: The Lymphie Life)