"To me, beauty has always been more of a feeling, a state of being."
Melanie Gaydos was born with a cleft palate and a genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia, which affects her pores, hair, teeth, and fingernails.
Melanie is also a high fashion model.
"I love modeling. It's a time for me to be completely open. It's a therapeutic process for me," she said in a video for StyleLikeU's 'The What's Underneath Project."
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The inspiring series of videos features people discussing how they feel judged for their bodies and appearances. Throughout the interview, the participants gradually undress to show the audience how their bodies look uncovered.
"When I go on a photo shoot, the other industry models don't know what to make of me," Melanie said of her experiences in modeling. "It's difficult for me in the fashion world; people think I'm a gimmick and that I'm just being exploited for my differences."
But Melanie wouldn't trade her life for anyone else's. "I have thought how I would be if I was born without a cleft palate and with a full head of hair, and I think I would be really boring," she said. "Even though I've been through a lot, they're my experiences, and I like where everything has brought me today."
Watch Melanie's video below and hear her amazing words on the definition of beauty:
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