"If people are trying to bring you down, it only means that you are above them."
Melanie Gaydos has officially proven all of those wrong who bullied her growing up. Suffering from a rare disorder known as ectodermal dysplasia, she went through more than most. Melanie explains, "As a child I faced a lot of bullying and a lot of people stared at me . . . I was really depressed and suicidal; I didn't really want to live," she told Metro. "I didn't think that I would be alive past the age of 18."
Unlike most, she has been able to look past the negative and fully embrace the positive. Due to her disorder, she has lost several teeth, is partially blind, lost her hair due to alopecia [see card here] and doesn't have a typical bone structure -- but despite all of that, she's still absolutely gorgeous.
Melanie wanted to better herself and she did just that by continuing her education at Pratt Institute in NYC. That's the moment when her entire life changed. She had dreams she wanted to pursue, but she wasn't sure if they were realistic. Thanks to her boyfriend, he helped me move forward in living out her dreams of becoming a model. In an interview with Yahoo! Style she says, "He helped me to understand that I am the only person who looks like me." She started out doing small gigs and soon realized that this was something she could see herself doing long term. She says, "[My syndrome] doesn't bother me, and it never did," she said. "People used to ask me: how do you eat without teeth? Well, people with no legs run marathons. It's all a matter of perception."
Despite all that she has gone through and will continue to go through, Melanie is confident and happy in walk of life. She explains that although she is a role model for those who can relate to her story, she didn't get into modeling to appease others -- she did it for herself. "I didn't start modeling for other people, as selfish as that sounds," she said. "I was doing it for myself. But what I've come to realize is that, in doing it for myself, I'm helping other people become more comfortable with themselves."
How amazing is Melanie Gaydos?