True beauty

Photo by Gregory Prescott
No one is more beautiful and inspiring than model Melanie Gaydos.

Gaydos have spoken bravely and candidly about her journey through ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic disorder that affects the pores, hair, teeth and nails. The disease resulted in her undergoing 30-40 surgeries as a young woman, and on top of that, Gaydos struggled with an alcoholic family, abuse and suicidal thoughts.

“Growing up, I never thought I’d be alive past the age of 18,” she says. “I never thought I would kill myself; I just kind of thought that it would happen by accident. But as I got older, I did think I would kill myself.”

But about three years ago, Gaydos found an outlet in modeling. Since then, she’s starred in a music video for the band Rammstein, and has been working steadily, and she is hoping to break into high fashion.

“I’d rather experience life as it is right now,” she says. “I love modeling; it’s a time for me to be completely open. It’s a therapeutic process for me.”

Her views on beauty are even more inspiring: “For me, beauty is more a feeling and a state of being.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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