Meet Melanie Gaydos, model with a rare genetic disorder who broke all fashion stereotypes

When we think of fashion and modeling, perfect facial features and bodies often come to mind. However, there are models like Melanie Gaydos who is one of the models that continue to challenge the fashion world veering away from the stereotypical beauties.


The modeling world experienced a huge improvement and has allowed all kinds of beauties to represent brands. Unique people are gaining traction in the fashion world, mainly because of their distinctive features.

Gaydos is not stunning like most models, but she can make you look twice at her. Gaydos was born with ectodermal dysplasia, a rare condition that makes her pores, teeth, nails and small bones form abnormally. She also has alopecia making her bald due to hair loss and is partially blind when her eyelashes scratched her eyes when she was a child.

Growing up, Gaydos felt intimidated by her appearance. A lot of people treated her like she is contagious. Since then, she hated to have her picture taken.

However, she overcame her self-pity and felt comfortable with her own skin. “I also found I was more comfortable with myself how I am, without any enhancements. Maybe other people think I am incomplete, but that is only because they have teeth or know what that is like and cannot understand or picture what it’s like without any. I don’t miss having teeth because I never really had them to begin with,” Gaydos said.

Her modeling career took off after she replied to a craigslist ad looking for “unique people” for photo-shoot with fashion photographers. Living in New York, one cannot escape fashion and a boyfriend motivated her to do modeling “just for fun”.

She went to castings and the response was both positive and negative. After all, competition is fierce, especially in New York.

She got over of her personal fear of posing in front of the camera and confidently struck poses in photo shoots. Since then, she worked with renowned fashion photographers, including Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco. Gaydos appeared in the music video of German metal band Rammstein, which was also directed by Recuenco.

On the perspective of the brands, casting unique people like Gaydos and plus-size models are good publicity for the brand and the company. Moreover, people tend to look at people like Gaydos since the fashion world is saturated with beauties like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Gisele Bündchen, which is an advantage to the clothes and the brand.

Her success in modeling industry has become a major inspiration for others who wanted to try out modeling. It also boosted her confidence.

“I have definitely become more confident with who I am and myself. I stopped wearing wigs and started modeling. In a way, I was forcing myself to learn more about who I was and to become more comfortable with who I am at my core and natural state of being. This whole process has helped me become more confident, stronger and happier in my existence,” Gaydos said.

To see more of Melanie, check her out on Instagram.

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