This is the tale of Sara Geurts, a 26-year-old woman who has learned to love and accept herself despite her skin condition. Her truly inspiring story goes to show that you don’t get to give up just because life has dealt you a bad hand. It’s not all about the way you look, it’s about the way you feel. The most important thing in the world is to feel comfortable in your own skin, and there’s no one better than Sara to show us how it’s done.
Source: Barcroft TV
Sara was only ten when she was diagnosed with a skin condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a connective tissue disorder caused by gene mutation. It can affect bones, blood vessels, and skin, reducing the body’s capability of producing collagen. This structural protein serves many functions, one of which is giving skin its elasticity and firmness.
This case is one of the rarer ones.
Sara, who is half-Korean has Dermatosparaxis which means that her skin becomes prematurely wrinkled. Growing up like this hasn’t been easy on her self-confidence. She hadn’t been able to come to terms with the way she looked until she was 22-23 years old. A failed relationship in her early 20s inspired her to reflect on how her appearance impacted both her and the people around her.
“Upon serious self-evaluation, I realized my insecurities caused me to lack any confidence, which had an impact on all of my social and personal relationships,” she wrote in an essay for The Mighty, a digital health community for people with health problems and disabilities. “I observed that hating certain parts of myself and body triggered my unhealthy mindset, which others sensed as well.”
Sara decided to stop hiding and show the world that being different is not a bad thing. She took up modeling and photography wanting to broaden people’s horizons about what is considered beautiful. Since then, Sara started a body positivity project called The Love Your Lines Campaign, she has been the subject of a short film for Barcroft TV, and has amassed a loyal fanbase on her social media sites.
“I aim to break society’s transparent barriers of perfection. Barriers that subliminally tell us all to be perfect in all aspects of life, work, social and personal interactions,” she said in her essay. “‘Be this skinny and you’ll be happy,’ ‘Buy this and you’ll be happy,’ ‘Look this way and you’ll be happy.’ Really? It is the imperfection that makes us perfect and is where true beauty lies. A reminder we all need: love your body, love yourself, be gentle with your body, be gentle with yourself.”
However, Sara’s main motivation for becoming a model and sharing her story is to raise awareness and help other people embrace the way they look and realize that they are beautiful just the way they are. In her Barcroft TV video, she said, “Each imperfection you have is individual to you, and it tells a story about you and who you are, and the struggle and the journey that you have been on.”
For another inspiring body positivity story, check this out.