There’s no doubt that the modeling industry follows a strict beauty standard. From skin tone to body type, we’ve been used to seeing the same kinds of people over and over again in the media.
However, most of us know that models aren’t usually a faithful representation of the diverse group of people we see in our day-to-day lives. Thankfully, people like Lucy Beall are breaking down barriers so that people from all walks of life are represented in the media.
Lucy Beall Was Born With Epidermolysis Bullosa
At just 24 years old, Lucy Beall is an established academic, advocate, and professional model. She’s built a resume worthy of someone far beyond her years. Yet, when she was born, her family wasn’t certain that she would make it to adulthood.
Beall was born with a rare genetic condition called epidermolysis bullosa, often referred to as EB. The condition causes painful blisters to form at just the slightest touch. The condition only affects about 200 people in the United States every year, and many babies born with EB die in infancy. However, despite her prognosis, Beall survived.
“I grew up knowing that my condition didn’t just mean a more difficult life, but possibly a shorter one, and it was a very heavy burden,” Beall told People. “I want people to see that I’m so much more than just my scars.”
Beall spent a large portion of her childhood in and out of hospital rooms, wrapped in bandages, and undergoing surgeries. Today, the Texas native lives in London and is pursuing her second master’s degree. She’s posed for Vogue Italia and has walked the runways of London Fashion Week.
Lucy Beall Works To Raise EB Awareness
It’s clear that Beall has turned her tough hand into something extraordinary. However, she’s never stopped advocating for those affected by EB. In 2019, Beall began posing on Instagram, showing the world the beauty of her scars.
“I decided to confront the negative feelings I had about my body and turn them into something positive,” Beall explained to People. “I wish I could go back and tell my teenage self that in a few years, the legs I hated so much would get me into Vogue.”
Through her Instagram account—which has amassed over 20,000 followers—Beall has taught many people about her condition. She often uses the platform to promote and raise money for EB charities like DEBRA UK and the EB Research Partnership. “I hope my efforts can improve the daily lives of people with EB and raise funds for the medical necessities,” Beall insisted.
Beall and her family even created their own foundation, the Beall Family Endowed Fund for EB. According to the foundation’s website, their goal is to ease the massive financial burden for families of children who live with EB.
Beall is a shining example that people with EB are so much more than their disease. Through her work, Beall proves that true beauty extends far beyond the cookie-cutter model we’re used to.