They always say, ‘disability is not inability’ and Melanie Gaydos is proving exactly that, as she is breaking all fashion stereotypes in the US.
The 28-year-old American model has a number of disorders that would have sentenced many a girl into eternal loneliness and seclusion. She was born with a rare genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia which prevents teeth, nails, pores, cartilage and bones from developing. But that is not all! She also suffers from alopecia (a skin disease that causes hair to fall out) and is partially blind after the growth of her eyelashes scratched her eyes.
Her rise to fame
Gaydos, who is an art graduate in New York City, hated having her photo taken but was persuaded to model by a boyfriend “just for fun.
Her career took off after she responded to an advert on Craigslist looking for “unique people” for fashion photographers to shoot while she was still a student.
She was subsequently chosen to appear in a video for the German metal band, Rammstein, which was directed by legendary photographer, Eugenio Recuenco.
The initial responses to her pictures online and on social media were surprise and shock. “It was in both positive and negative ways. Mostly people were speechless,” she says.
The model, however, did not let the negativity put her down and has since modeled for i-D, Galore, and Love magazines. In 2015, she walked the Nina Athanasiou runway for New York Fashion Week.
Gaydos, however, says that she has not always been so confident but her modeling career has boosted her self-esteem. She has reportedly rejected enhancements – including dentures and wigs.
“I have definitely become more confident with who I am and myself. I stopped wearing wigs and started modelling. 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.”
The fashion world is celebrating models that divert from the out-dated ideas of conventional beauty and Melanie Gaydos is among the new faces leading the charge.