The World’s Most Unique and Unusual Models

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By: Kate Row | Last updated: Jan 19, 2023

Part of what makes our world so beautiful is the uniqueness of each individual. No one is quite the same, which makes each person interesting and beautiful in their own right. It seems the modeling industry agrees.

These are some of the most unique models from all over the world that are redefining beauty standards, confirming the importance of representation, and reminding us that we are all beautiful despite our differences.

Walking in Dior At 19 Years Old

Duan Meiyue is a young model who achieved great notoriety when she walked in the Dior show at only 19 years old! The beautiful model from Singapore has been described as a mannequin.

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She has experimented with the frost eyebrows as well but is most well known or her versatility as a model. She doesn’t shy away from experimenting with different looks, wigs, and even eye colors.

Capitalizing on Her Differences

Daria Svertilova is a model who has made a career for herself by accentuating the features that stand out. The Ukrainian model is most noticeable for her youthful appearance, big eyes, and ears which stick out. 

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Rather than hide her ears behind her hair, she has them on display in most of her modeling gigs. When she’s not spending time in front of the camera, she is behind it since she is a photographer as well as a model. She had worked with tons of major brands such as Dior, Balmain, and Rick Owens.

The Woman Who Refused to Hide Her Smile

Becca Horn is an English model who decided to capitalize on the gap in her teeth. Rather than hide it or have it corrected, Becca turned the gpa in between her teeth into her most distinguishable feature in a modeling career.

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She has no problem poking fun at herself as her Instagram bio reads, “Please mind the gap”. The lovely Becca keeps her smile on full display in most of her pictures, reminding us that the things that make us different also make us beautiful!

Sinéad Burke: A Woman of Many Talents

Sinéad Burke does it all. The woman has completely thrown the old idea that models can only be extremely tall women out the window. She steps in front of the camera as a model but also does some incredibly influential work off-camera as well.

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She is an activist and writer and editor for British Vogue. She’s fascinated with fashion and modeling but is a business woman behind it all. She owns her own company and continues to break down barriers that still exist in the high fashion world today.

Jessica Hope Fighting Ethnic Stereotypes

Jessica Hope is an American model and blogger who believes the job of a model is not simply to provide aesthetic pleasing. Rather, the fashion industry and the models that work in it should speak out on important topics and use influence for the good of the world!

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She is one of the names behind We Speak; an agency that aligns with these ideas. Namely, she fights ethnic stereotypes in the fashion industry and encourages others to do the same.

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Tin Gao: The Woman Known as the “Anti” Model

Tin Gao is a model that is challenging long standing beauty standards and norms. The young woman is known for accentuating her unique features and models in an “otherworldly” style. She is one of a kind.

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Her unique features certainly make her stand out. Her wide set eyes and wide bridge nose are a fascinating combination. She doesn’t shy away from bold choices and isn’t afraid to stand out from the crowd.

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Andrea Thomas: The Beauty of Vitiligo

Andrea is a plus size model with a skin condition called vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition which causes the skin to lose melanin in patches. This makes some parts of the skin lighter than others.

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Andrea shows off her vitiligo and celebrates the unique pattern of her skin. She also speaks out on the importance of more representation in the plus size community when it comes to modeling. She proudly displays her vitiligo instead of covering it with makeup.

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Adeline Jouan: Known For the Gap

Adeline is another model who has become well known for the gap in her front teeth. What was once seen as an imperfection is now the exact feature that has helped her grace the cover of big brand magazines.

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The French model has posed for Monki, Elle, and Interview, among others! Her light blue eyes and freckles make her a stunning model but the gpa in her teeth is really what sets her apart in the modeling world.

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Winnie Harlow: From America’s Next Top Model to Infinity and Beyond

Winnie is another model with vitiligo that first made waves on the show America’s Next Top Model. She proudly sported the skin condition and has made a huge name for herself in the industry since she was on the show.

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She’s worked with many companies such as Desigual, Diesel, and Dazed. She’s also participated in music videos for Sia, Beyonce, and Eminem. She is a fantastic example of why it is better to stand out than blend in.

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Sabina Karlsson With Fiery Red Curls

Sabina is a 5’11 model who cannot be mistaken for anyone but herself. Her freckle pattern and bright red curls are a few of the things that make Sabina really stand out. It’s also what has gained her notoriety in the modeling industry.

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The Swedish model also has a gap in her teeth. She has spoken out about the difficulty she had with maintaining a certain weight when she first started modeling. Since then, she has shifted her focus to embracing different body types and encourages the rest of the industry to do so as well!

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Kelly Mittendorf

Kelly started modeling when she was only 16 years old and had the opportunity to model in a Prada campaign. She said her agents were very honest with her right off the bat. They told her, “You’re very different. We’re so supportive of that, but it’s not going to be the easiest thing for you. But, if you want it, you can have a long career based off of that [difference]”.

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And they were exactly right: Kelly’s differences were what set her apart from other models and propelled her into a successful modeling career. Kelly was lucky to have people supporting her differences and encouraging her to capitalize on them.

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Brandee Brown: Embracing Natural Hair Styles

Brandee Brown is an African American model who encourages other women to embrace their natural hair by sporting her own. She explains the importance of representation of different hair textures and curl patterns.

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She has spoken out on the many hair stylists she’s come into contact with who did not know how to properly style her natural hair. She has made a stand to encourage other women to participate in a movement to encourage more than one standard of beauty.

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Denise Bidot

Denise has made it her mission to support beauty of all shapes and sizes. She is very inspired by her own daughter and wants to make sure her generation grows up with more realistic standards of beauty.

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She has had a very successful modeling career and regularly speaks on the importance of representation of all different body types so the younger generation can grow up with confidence.

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Coral Kwayie and Her Countless Freckles

Coral is a model from Great Britain that refuses to cover her freckles. The pattern on her face makes her stand out in a crowd. She likes to have her beautiful features on full display.

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She likes to use minimal makeup on her face to really allow her freckles to shine through. She also appreciates natural beauty and wants to encourage others to celebrate uniqueness in all forms!

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Nastya Kumarova: Bringin Albinism to the Modeling Industry

Nastya is an albino model who has made a splash in the fashion industry. She is well-known for her bright white eyelashes and light complexion. Albinism is a condition characterized by a lack of pigment in the skin.

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Interestingly, Nastya is the only one in her family who has albinism and she has traveled much of the world for different modeling shoots as a result of her striking appearance. 

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Madeline Stuart: A Trailblazer

Madeline Stuart is the first trailblazing supermodel with down syndrome. She realized her dream of modeling when she attended a fashion show with her mom when she was only 17 years old. 

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Since the beginning of her career she has walked many runways all over the world, including Paris, China, and New York. Her confidence on the runway has invited lots of modeling opportunities to come her way.

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Ilka Bruhl: Using Her Rare Facial Features to Prove Everyone is Beautiful

Ilka is a German model who has made it her life’s goal to remind everyone of the beauty in differences and uniqueness. She’s dedicated her career to showing people that everyone is beautiful for their individuality. 

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She has a rare facial defect that gives her some unusual facial features which she proudly flaunts for the camera in her many stunning photographs. She states that the only way to be ugly is to have an ugly character.

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Luke Smith: Pushing Boundaries and Bringing Ice Back Into Style

A lot of what we see in the mainstream media when it comes to modeling and fashion is warm tones. However, this model and stylist from London is bringing back chic with this icey look.

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His bleached eyebrows and hair in addition to his light gray eyes really pull attention. Even more so than that, Luke likes to push the boundaries with his looks! We can’t say that we would have thought to pair fish with keys as a fashion statement.

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Uli Makes Waves at 9 Years Old

Uli was only 9 years old when she entered the world of modeling and started catching big brands’ attention for her fascinating features. The Ukrainian model has blue wide set eyes and unique features that helped her get signed to an agency fmr a very young age.

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Now, the 13 year old Uli does different modeling projects from high fashion to editorial shoots. We have no doubt that this unique young woman will be making waves in the fashion industry in no time.

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Anok Yai: The Woman Who Became a Model Accidentally

Anok Yai was studying to become a doctor when a modeling career basically landed in her lap. A random photographer snapped a photo of her at a festival and the image went viral on Instagram. 

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Soon after that, Anok was posing for major brands and signed with a modeling agency. She has made history as one of the first African American models to open Prada’s runway show and has become a spokesperson for darker shades for makeup.

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Viktoria Modesta: The Bionic Model and Pop Star

Viktoria Modesta has come to be known as the bionic supermodel. This creative young woman is a music artist, performer, model, and director. She was born with an injured leg which she convinced a doctor to amputate in 2007. 

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She uses lots of accessories to highlight her amputation rather than hide it. It has helped her realize her passion of turning the beauty standards on their head and showing people how to alter beauty. Beauty comes in tons of different forms.

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Ellia Sophia

Ellia Sophia has unconventional facial features that stand out from many others in the modeling space. She’s landed many editorial gigs and has had the opportunity to walk in a Gucci runway show.

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Her look is not the typical model appearance but she is breaking down the barriers that define beauty and showing other young women how important it is to embrace your look. It might even land you on the cover of a magazine one day.

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Shudu Gram: Too Good To Be True

If you think this model is just too beautiful to be real, you’re right. Shudu Gram is the world’s first digital supermodel. The model was computer generated to look like a woman in her 20s from South Africa. 

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The idea of “fake” models is a controversial one as the real models worry that computer generated ones will start to take away their jobs. It will be interesting to see if more models like Shudu start popping up in magazines.

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Maeva Giani: Overcoming Difficulty to Achieve Greatness

Maeva Giani is a woman who has overcome many struggles to achieve the incredible career as a French American model that she has today. When she was only 20 years old she had a stroke. The medication she took afterwards gave her the unique pattern of blemishes you see across her cheeks and nose.

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You might mistake them as freckles, but they are actually marks left over from second degree burns. She had to be treated for skin cancer but when she recovered she turned it into an opportunity to show people how there is beauty in everything.

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Issa Lish: Discovered at 14

Issa Lish is a woman of Mexican and Japanese descent who was discovered at only 14 years old. Throughout her career she has walked in many high fashion runways all over the world.

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She explains that growing up in Mexico City, she was teased for her Japanese heritage. Other kids would call her Issa Alien in spite. But, she retook control over the word by making it her Instagram name. 

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Devon Aoki: 2 Fast 2 Furious

You might recognize Devon Aoki from her iconic role in 2 Fast 2 Furious. But, before she hit the big screen as an actress she was a model breaking stereotypes. She was one of the shortest supermodels in the industry at only 5’5. 

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By the time she was 16, she was one of the most  sought after models in the fashion industry. She was discovered in New York at only 13 years old and her career has only skyrocketed since then.

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Casey Legler: From the Olympics to the Front Page

Casey Legler is a French model who started on a completely different career path. She was a French olympic swimmer but left the sport when she began to be ostracized for her looks.

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She took advantage of her confidence and androgynous appearance to land her countless modeling gigs. She’s since spoken out against discrimination of appearances and her career has flourished. 

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Erika Ervin

Erika Ervin had the shared experience many models have. They were once bullied and teased for their unique features and now they’ve made a career out of them. Erika was already 5’11 by the time she was 14 years old.

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By the time she was 18 years old she was 6’8! She always stood out in a crowd (literally). She found comfort in the entertainment industry which welcomed and celebrated her uniqueness. She even landed an acting gig in a season of American Horror Story.

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Natalia Castellar Calvan

This stunning Puerto Rican model is well known for her thick dark eyebrows. She was often made fun of for her eyebrows when she was young but has grown to embrace them and capitalize. 

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Photographers she works with will even fill in her eye brows to call attention to them. Other models such as Cara Delevigne have made the thick eyebrow trend popular. Natalia encourages other young women to embrace their natural beauties.

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Shaun Ross: The First African American Albino Male Model

Born in the Bronx, Shaun Ross took the fashion and modeling industry by storm as the first African American albino male model. Ross was constantly bullied by his peers and called horrible names. He was discovered in 2008 on YouTube when he was only 16 years old.

 

 

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Ross has been featured in GQ, Italian Vogue, i-D Magazine, Paper Magazine, and Another Man. Also, he has been the face of Alexander McQueen and Givenchy. Not only has he made splashes in the acting and singing industry, but he continues to be making strides in his career.

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She Was The First Albino Model To Be Featured In A Beauty Campaign

Diandra Forrest made a significant step in her modeling career by becoming the first albino model to be featured in a major beauty campaign for Wet n Wild. Like Shaun Ross, Forrest inherited albinism which is a rare genetic condition that affects about one in 18,000 to 20,000 people.

 

 

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Forrest wanted to become the representative of an affordable brand since many have a difficult time finding the right makeup shade. She shared that her mission, “was to always redefine beauty standards and raise awareness about albinism.” Forrest certainly paved the way for inclusivity in the beauty industry.

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Rick Genest And His Bizarre, Self-Created Image

Rick Genest (also known as “Zombie Boy”) is one of those fascinating artists who take things to the extreme. His body is a walking work of art that’s 90% filled with ghoulish tattoos. Diagnosed with brain cancer at 15, he got his first tattoo at 16.

 

 

 

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Genest dropped out of school at age 17 and got involved in the Canadian punk scene. He began participating in freak show acts which garnered mass attention on social media. Lady Gaga and Jay Z caught wind of this and launched his professional modeling career. Not only has he made appearances in music videos, but he even has his own line of dolls.

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Melanie Gaydos: A Partially Blind Art Graduate

Melanie Gaydos found prominent success as a model in New York City despite her ectodermal dysplasia. It’s a condition that makes her pores, teeth, nails, and small bones abnormally form. She also suffers from alopecia and is partially blind. Throughout her childhood she was treated as though her disease was contagious.

 

 

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Her life changed after she responded to an ad on Craiglist that was searching for “unique people” to photograph. After that skyrocketed her modeling career, she discovered a newfound confidence that she had never experienced before.

 

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Andreja Pejic: More Than Just A Heidi Klum Lookalike

Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina but raised in Melbourne, Pejic was the first transgender woman to shake up the fashion world. Not only is she 6’1”, but she has an exotic look paired with an Australian accent. Her full lips, sharp bone structure, and high cheekbones are to die for, and this list proves that the fashion industry champions androgny.

 

 

 

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Pejic was considered the first completely androgynous supermodel before she went through gender reassignment surgery in 2014, and before she came out as transgender in 2013.

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Molly Bair: Unlike The Average Supermodel

Molly Bair’s look is so vastly unique that she could be considered “alien” or “insectile.” With such an unusual face, she clearly surpasses other well-known models. Furrowed brows, pursed lips, and a gawky demeanor makes her an edgy addition in the typically commercialized modeling world that we know today.

 

 

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Bair has walked the runways for Chanel, Dior, Vera Wang, and Moschino, among countless others. She was also once the face of Alexander Wang and has over 100,000 followers on Instagram.

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Making The Impossible Possible

Out of all the models dubbed unusual on this list, Alex Minsky is probably the most normal in an attractive way. And, he only has one leg. Minksy is a retired Marine corporal who made his foray into the modeling world after being discovered by a fashion photographer at a gym.

 

 

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During his first tour in Afghanistan in 2009, Minsky had to get his leg amputated after his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. He won a Purple Heart after spending 47 days in a coma and 17 months in the hospital.

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Deshun Wang: The 86-Year-Old Male Model

Deshun Wang has redefined America and China’s misconceptions about the elderly. He’s referred to as “China’s Hottest Grandpa,” taking on some DJ gigs and strutting shirtless down runways. He truly proved that age is just a number.

 

 

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Wang is more lively than ever before. He revealed in an interview with the NY Times that swimming his the vigorous way with which he combats aging. Every morning, he gets up and swims laps in the pool and it’s proved effective in keeping him in shape. The first catwalk he went on in China made him a massive sensation.

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Zach Miko: Plus-Sized Male Model

While it’s common to hear about plus-sized female models, it’s not as common to hear about male ones. Zach Miko is the first ever plus-sized male model to capitalize on his brawny build. Interestingly enough, the esteemed and reputable modeling agency, IMG, launched a division called Brawn, and was dedicated specifically to plus-sized males.

 

 

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Before Miko’s debut into the fashion industry, the entirety of the plus-size trend was solely focused on women. Zach became the face of Target, yet still managed to be humble about his success.

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Sophia Hadjipanteli’s Unique Unibrow Look

As a model of Cypriot-Greek origin, Sophia Hadjipanteli has gained mass fame for her unibrow. She is certainly unique and, unlike many models in the industry, defies conventional beauty norms.

 

 

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Hadjipanteli has created a lucrative career for her in the modeling world. She has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, New York Times, as well as collaborations with Chanel and Fenty Beauty. She gained notoriety in 2017 in the UK and first appeared in fashion shows during London Fashion Week in 2020.

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Karen Vega: Paving The Way For Mexican Culture

As a young model from Oaxaca, Mexico, Karen Vega has already appeared on the cover of Vogue Mexico. Her first step into the professional modeling world was with designer Pompi Garcia and photographer Enrique Leyva in a collective project. They wanted to see people who had more of an indigenous look.

 

 

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Vega has expressed that one of her main tasks is to serve as the representation of Mexican culture in the high fashion industry.

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94-Year-Old British Supermodel Daphne Selfe

Born in 1928 in U.K., Daphne Selfe has had one of the longest careers in the fashion industry’s history. She’s posted in front of cameras since the 1950s and has worked for Dolce and Gabbana, Olay, and Eyeko.

 

 

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Remarkably, she hasn’t once turned to invasive cosmetology and still retains all of her youth and beauty. Selfe does yoga, eats healthy, and smiles daily. She is a miraculous walking testament that aging doesn’t mean you can’t also be beautiful and thriving.

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Lily McMenamy Redefines The Standard Model Features

Lily McMenamy is another unusual and unique model that doesn’t boast the typical model features. She has large facial features and protruding ears. As the daughter of the famous American model Kristen McMenamy, Lily didn’t get into the industry because of her mother’s influence.

 

 

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Lily began modeling at age 18, although it took two years for her to get noticed. She began working with big names and brands such as Louis Vitton, Fendi, and Moschino, among many others.

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Harnaam Kaur: The Record-Breaking Model

British-born Harnaam Kaur is an Indian model with a 6-inch long beard. Her name has been registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest woman in the world to have grown a full beard. The condition that causes this extreme hair growth is called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

 

 

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Not only is she a model, but she is also known for many other things. Kaur is a motivational speaker, social media personality, life coach, and postpartum coach.

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Caitin Stickels: Defying All Odds With A Rare Condition

Born with a rare chromosomal disorder (also called “cat-eye syndrome”), Seattle-based Caitin Stickels goes against all odds. The condition causes facial deformities and defects such as a characteristic split pupil.

 

 

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Stickels has long been a passionate advocate for inclusivity and representing largely underrepresented groups. She doesn’t let her unique appearance stand in the way of her dreams and goals as an artist. Her feature in an editorial for V Magazine proved her efforts truly paid off.

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