Judging by her Instagram feed, Sara Geurts is your average 26-year-old woman. She loves to post selfies, pictures of her food, and the occasional adorable cat photo. Geurts also happens to have rare skin disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) that causes skin to lose it's elasticity at a much younger age.
But that won't keep her from being a model and a role model:
EDS is a multi systematic disorder, so it affects every part of the body. It can result in weakened joints and muscles, which leaves those with the disease feeling easily fatigued and sore at all times.
It also results in the skin being much more fragile than normal, making it prone to tears, rips and bruising.
Still, Geurts is determined to make it as a model, and wants to spread a message of body acceptance to a wide audience:
"In high school, I just tried to cover it up. I didn’t want anyone to ask me questions about it. I didn’t want to talk about it. I would say my biggest insecurity was my skin. As I got older it, it just kind of started to show more and more," Geurts told The Sun.
Eventually Geurts not only came to terms with her EDS, but she started to celebrate it. She spoke about her long journey to self-love in an essay she penned for The Mighty in 2016.
Now, more than ever, I am confident with who I am and with my disorder. I have made it my mission to raise awareness for Ehlers through photography in hopes of making an impact. I am not ashamed, nor do I try to hide it anymore. I may have a disorder, and yes, my disorder is a part of me, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My physical discrepancies are gentle reminders of the fighter I am. My lines make me, me. Each line holds beauty, and is beautiful in its own way. No one else carries the exact lines I have, and this is what I consider to be truly beautiful.
Now Geurts is on a mission to get more diverse representation in the modeling world, including but not limited to models with disorders.
"We are in the generation of albinism models. We have melanin models. We have vitiligo models. We have plus size models. And those are all fabulous things," Geurts told The Sun. "But the one thing that we are really missing are people with disorders within our everyday commercials."
You can follow Sara Geurts on Instagram here.