Posted on: 09/03/2015

Model with rare genetic disorder

Model with rare genetic disorder which has left her bald and without any teeth reveals how embracing her unique appearance helped to boost her fashion career A model who suffers from a rare genetic condition which causes growth abnormalities has spoken out about her determination to break into the fashion industry. Melanie Gaydos, 27, was born with ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic disorder that affects the growth of teeth, pores, cartilage, nails and even small bones. The condition means Melanie is bald, and doesn"t have any adult teeth. Melanie, a Connecticut native, talked to Yahoo! Style about getting her start in modeling, dealing with negative comments - and why she refuses to wear dental implants despite not having any teeth. "People are more comfortable when I have teeth in my mouth," she said, before adding: "But Im not." Melanie also has a bilateral cleft palette and alopecia, which inhibits natural hair growth. Her form of alopecia causes ingrown hairs, and as a child, unchecked eyelash growth damaged her corneas and resulted in partial blindness. Having spent years dealing with the symptoms of her condition, it wasn"t until she was 26 that Melanie, who counts Miley Cyrus among her fans, got her first set of false teeth, while appearing on the medical talk show The Doctors. But Melanie stopped wearing the dentures only eight months after the episode aired, saying that, although she thought getting teeth would be "life-changing", she was actually happier the way she was. She began responding to Craigslist ads looking for "unique" models, and soon built up a small portfolio. Melanie was shocked when her fan letter to the famous Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco resulted in a casting. Eugenio had been taken with the photos she had enclosed in her letter and flew her out to Berlin for a music video he was directing for the German band Rammstein. When asked if she is bitter about her disorder, Melanie said: "No. It doesnt bother me, and it never did. Or if it did, its because it was something people were telling me I should be upset about." She added: "People used to ask me: How do you eat without teeth? Well, people with no legs run marathons. Its all a matter of perception."