Model With Rare Skin Condition Proves Beauty Isn't Skin-Deep

"I am still beautiful and this condition that I will be lumbered with for the rest of my life, does not define me as a person.”

Today, more than ever before, we are seeing the fashion industry open its doors to people who don't fit society's definition of perfection. Thankfully, this definition is ever-expanding making room for models such as Maya Spencer-Berkeley

Spencer-Berkeley is a London-based model who has a group of genetic conditions called epidermolysis bullosa (EB), that causes her skin to be very fragile and to blister easily,.  While she started receiving attention from agencies at the age of 14, many couldn't see past the condition. Still, her social media fan base continued to grow, and now she has over 14,000 Instagram followers.

"I think in the past, most agencies were reluctant to give opportunities to those of us who don't fit into the typical model category," Berkeley recently told Mr. Bravo U.K.. "However, I think the industry is changing and people are coming to realize that the stereotypical model we see plastered on billboards and in magazines are not realistic standards for normal people."

Though most people wouldn't even know Berkeley has a skin condition simply by looking at her face, she's felt the effects since she was 1 years old. 

"Being able to play outside freely is something most children and parents take for granted," she wrote in an emotional editorial for Bricks magazine, "but I had to wear padding all over my arms and legs to be able to do the same 'normal' things as everyone else did."

Today, the condition, which causes her entire body to itch, and sometimes leaves her sheets blood-stained,  is easily visible on the rest of her body and only seems to be getting worse.

"The last few months have been extremely challenging as the condition of my skin has deteriorated massively," she wrote in an Instagram post last November.

"From 18 months old when I was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa to earlier this year, I was able to live an almost normal life despite my skin, it was easy to hid and easy to manage," she continued. "But earlier this year it started getting rapidly worse and I am now able to do less of the things I once could.

"My confidence and self-esteem is almost nonexistent most of the time," she wrote. "So much of my day is spent managing my skin or being in pain from it. But now more than ever I need to remind myself that I am still the same old me. I am still beautiful and this condition that I will be lumbered with for the rest of my life, does not define me as a person."

(H/T: Yahoo)

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