26-year-old Ilka Brühl of Germany was born with ectodermal dysplasia, a group of genetic disorders that involve a facial cleft and overgrown airways, defects of the hair, nails, teeth, skin and glands. Other parts of the body, such as the eyes or throat, may be affected as well. Ilka herself has a facial cleft and overgrown airways.
But any perceived faults or difficulties of such a condition hasn’t fazed Ilka, who has shown the world that beauty comes in all different forms.
With a stunning collection of high fashion modeling photos and well-written words of inspiration on Instagram, Ilka embodied the spirit and beauty of true self-confidence. Her jaw-dropping artist expression truly is a revelation.
“There was so much positive feedback, that I got more and more courage to show myself as I am. Pure and unaffected. There is only one way to be ugly: by having an ugly character. No one has to hide because of their appearance!” writes Ilka in one of her posts.
In another one of her posts, she describes her first photoshoot and feeling terrified by how the photographer would react after seeing her in person for the time. But it didn’t take long for the photographer to capture her beauty, inside and out. And Ilka’s confidence blossomed.
“Being in front of the camera has shown me: Every defect and every mistake is a part of you, and that’s okay too. You just have to make the most of it.”