Both in Hollywood and around the world, we have our own ideas about what beauty means. History has even seen some pretty bizarre practices when it comes to appearances. These trends come and go but we still remain captivated by people who have a certain “air” about them. Diversity shows that we can be beautiful in our own unique way and that “different” can often be a blessing.
Here at Bright Side, we’ve compiled 15 captivating photos of people around the world that show beauty in its endless forms.
1. Beauty in disorder
Melanie Gaydos is an American model with a set of rare genetic conditions known as ectodermal dysplasia. Although she hasn’t signed with an agency, Gaydos has attained global success on her own and has no intentions of giving up her modeling career.
2. Beauty in tones
Haider Har is a Londoner who was featured in photographer Brock Elbank’s photo series on vitiligo. The series challenges perceptions of beauty by showcasing the disease, along with other pigmentations like freckles, to question our fixation with symmetry and perfection.
3. Waves of pigment
Maeva Giani Marshall is a French-American model with hyperpigmentation, leading to a collection of freckles around her eyes and cheeks. Now signed with Heroes Models, Marshall stands for the beauty of diversity in the fashion world.
4. Beauty in extremes
Shaun Ross is a model known for his unique skin tone, as well as his striking facial features. Of African-American descent, Ross is recognized as the first male albino model. Although he was frequently bullied during his school years for appearing too ghostly, Ross has since gone on to be featured in music videos for artists like Beyoncé and Katy Perry. He is currently the face of Lynx and an active campaigner for Albinism Awareness.
5. Marked from birth
While newfound stardom is often the way we hear about extraordinary beauties, prominent photographer Mihaela Noroc brings to our attention the far-reaching beauty of people across the world. This Turkish woman, named Burcu, is featured in Noroc’s The Atlas of Beauty—a collection of portraits depicting women around the world. Speaking about her unique birthmark, Burcu comments: “I’ve never tried to hide it. I’ve always seen it as something that makes me special.”
6. The melanin goddess
Khoudia Diop, also known as the “Melanin Goddess,” is a Senegalese model once teased for her nightly skin. After taking part in “The Colored Girl” campaign, Diop made a name for herself in the mainstream fashion world, proving that beauty comes in all shades.
7. The beard is the blessing
Harnaam Kaur is a British model and anti-bullying activist, sometimes known as “the lady with a beard.” During adolescence, she grew excess body and facial hair as a result of a diagnosed syndrome that causes hormonal imbalances. Despite her difficulties with self-acceptance, Kaur overcame years of bullying and self-doubt to become a spokesperson for body positivity and an inspiration for all who feel out of place.
8. Moles to Miss Universe
Evita Delmundo, from Borneo, Malaysia, is a model and influencer distinguished by her full body of moles. While admitting that excessive bullying made her “self-conscious” about her appearance, Delmundo has gone on to audition for Miss Universe and even taken part in Dove’s #BeautyUnitesUs campaign. “There are so many types of beauty in the world”, she says. “It should not be embodied by just one face or one kind of beauty.”
9. The eyes are arresting
Mekhi Alante Lucky is an American model who rose to fame after his released mugshots went viral. His unique blue-brown eyes landed him a contract with St. Claire Modelling and have made him an internet sensation. Lucky shows that unique features can be mesmerizing.
10. There’s more to a face
This model shows that there is beauty in peculiarities. Both with and without his facial marks, he shows that beauty is not confined to nationality or facial structure.
11. No legs, no limits
Kanya Sesser is a Thai model and actress who was born without legs. While her difficulties began when she was abandoned at one-week-old on the steps of a Buddhist temple, she proved herself as a competitive athlete and now performs stunts alongside her modeling career and motivational speaking gigs. Putting the “ability” in “disability”, she lives by the motto, “no legs, no limits” and shows that beauty comes in many forms.
12. A rustic glow
This Tibetan woman’s bare features and rouge glow can’t cease to charm us. Noroc again shows us the beauty in diversity by capturing the enchanting beauty of women across the world.
13. Cat’s eye
Caitin Stickels is distinguished by a rare genetic disorder known as “cat eye syndrome.” While causing split cat-like pupils, the disorder also affects Stickels’ facial structure and can cause her pain. Despite the drawbacks that come with her disorder, Stickels embraces her uniqueness through her evocative portraits and love of fashion.
14. Red hair, black skin
If you were to see Haitian model Ralph Souffrant for the first time, the first thing you’d probably notice is the generous peppering of freckles covering his face and body. But he’s also unique in his hair-skin contrast, with his prominent auburn hair being an unusual feature. Currently signed to Next Models, along with numerous agencies in New York and LA, Souffrant shows that having a unique appearance can take you far.
15. Beauty in mixture
Issa Lish is a half-Japanese, half-Mexican model known for her distinctive long limbs and peculiar features. While she brands herself with the alien emoji with pride, she’s been frequently described as a mixture of “beautiful and ugly” and is an instantly recognizable face in the fashion industry.
What captivated you most about these unique beauties? Do they challenge mainstream notions of beauty? Let us know in the comments.