Life is hard these days. With expenses increasing while income barely keeping us afloat, people like us have to do our best to survive. However, when someone is born with a rare genetic condition that they have no control of, society considers them to be different and outcasts them. This makes their life not only hard but depressing. Melanie Gaydos has such a story to tell us. The brave 28 year old fantasized of living the ‘American dream’. However, she was born with a genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia – something that has made her suffer since the day she was born. This did not stop her from following her dreams.
Melanie Gaydos is one of a growing number of models who are challenging the world of fashion.
The 28-year-old model living in Seattle was born with Ectodermal dysplasia (ED). Ectodermal Dysplasia (ED) is not a single disorder, but a group of closely related conditions of which more than 150 different syndromes have been identified. The Ectodermal Dysplasias (EDs) are genetic disorders affecting the development or function of the teeth, hair, nails and sweat glands. Depending on the particular syndrome ED can also affect the skin, the lens or retina of the eye, parts of the inner ear, the development of fingers and toes, the nerves and other parts of the body.
The ED had caused her to be blind because of an eyelash growth that scratched her eyes.
Melanie also suffers from alopecia (a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles). She has also endured three different painful dental implants in her life. According to The Independent, she eventually opted to remove the implants because of her eating preferences.
Melanie was an art student at Pratt Institute where her professor fell in love with the self-portraits she drew of herself. The professor asked Melanie if she wanted to pose for a shoot, which she was more than happy to do.
“I knew that I was the only person who looked like me. I was the only person who had my sense of vision and such a unique way of looking at the world.” – Melanie Gaydos
The photoshoot inspired Melanie and gave her the encouragement she needed.
Melanie then began posing for photographers she found on Craigslist. Since then, she has been a model for i-D, Galore, and Love magazines.
In 2015, she walked the Nina Athanasiou runway for New York Fashion Week.
Today, her beauty has amassed her more than 154,000 followers on Instagram.
Melanie achieved her success without the help of anyone but herself. She had no modeling contracts and no manager throughout her journey.
However, her journey wasn’t easy.
The famous model today once endured a great amount of bullying throughout her school years. In an interview, she opened up about suicidal thoughts because of the way she was being treated. Her creativity and positive attitude helped her cope with the pain and struggle to reach a better place.
“I created a lot of art work and kinda became really hopeful and true to myself. I knew that there was a bigger reason as to why I was still here and other wise, I wouldn’t have still been alive. I really just try to keep out the negativity and look forward. It was really hard but I realized a lot with creating in general. That’s what got me through my days.” – Melanie Gaydos
Today, Melanie is a busy woman working between photoshoots and music videos. Her career has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on her self confidence and belief.
“I have definitely become more confident with who I am and myself. I stopped wearing wigs and started modeling. In a way, I was forcing myself to learn more about who I was and to become more comfortable with who I am at my core and natural state of being. This whole process has helped me become more confident, stronger and happier in my existence.” – Melanie Gaydos