Say Hello to This Year’s Cover Model

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by Lena Riedl |

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This month, one of my childhood dreams came true. Ever since I was 15, I secretly wanted to be a model. But because I have scars on my body due to epidermolysis bullosa, my dream was hard to achieve.

What is acceptance?

I liked myself in pictures that were shot well, and I had hoped that people would think I am beautiful and accept me, even with my flaws. After doing photo shoots for fun in the past with a talented friend, I received messages from some photographers, and had a professional shoot.

I was so proud and thought, “Hey, maybe my skin really isn’t stopping me from being beautiful.”

But it turned out that I had been lucky that one time. Upon realizing I had scars on my arms and legs, other photographers would tell me that it wouldn’t make sense to book me, because they would have to do a lot of retouching. It would be easier to book a model without scars, they said.

Back then, I didn’t realize how wrong that attitude was.

Hiding your true self

Why should we hide something that’s real? Why should we hide scars that belong to us, or cellulite, or wrinkles, which are just as normal and beautiful as our body’s other features?

That is something I would like us, as a society, to change. Imagine a world where it would be normal to be happy with the body that we have; a world where we’d never waste a minute wondering why we look like we do or wanting to look differently.

The chances life gives you

Recently, I won a casting and became Wienerin magazine’s cover model for 2020Wienerin is one of the most popular magazines in Austria. So, dreams do come true, but sometimes it’s just in a different way than we would have thought.

Now, 10 years later, I am being photographed because of my scars, rather than despite them, and I am proud to say I have never felt more beautiful. I realized that dreams come true when the time is right.

I also have learned in these past few years why I really wanted to be a model: I want to show the world that beauty isn’t defined by specific beauty standards. Beauty is being yourself, accepting yourself, and loving yourself. Beauty is rare, unique, and individualistic.

So, that is why I want to be a model. I want to show the world that even with, or maybe because of, the uniqueness of your scars, you are beautiful. Your body tells your own story, and that is something to be proud of.


Note: Epidermolysis Bullosa Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Epidermolysis Bullosa Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to epidermolysis bullosa.


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