Meet Sara Geurts: She looks old at 26, but is redefining the concept of beauty
Suffering from Dermatosparaxis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which has left her skin badly sagging and wrinkled, aspiring American model and Instagram sensation Sara Geurts is a body positivity icon already.Updated: Aug 01, 2017, 18:11 IST
Beauty means many things across cultures. Aspiring American model and social media sensation Sara Geurts has created a meaning of her own. The 26-year-old, from the city of Minneapolis, looks decades older because of a rare disease. Undaunted, she has built up a huge fan following on Instagram —12.4K followers at last count — and plans to break into the big league of modelling.
Sara was only 10 when she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that impedes the production of collagen (the protein essential for good skin) and makes one’s skin sag and wrinkle even in youth. “I noticed my symptoms as early as 7-8 [years of age] and it started to show more after puberty,” says Sara, in an interview with Hindustan Times. “When I was 18, I was told I had herniated discs and from around that age, there was pain in my joints and back, eating and sleeping — everyday life started to change,” she says.
Despite her suffering, Sara has not let the disorder hold her back from following her passion. She has been photographing herself since she was 22, and has done some modelling. However, it has not been an easy ride for her. “I don’t think everyone was open to the idea of me wanting to be a model; even some of my old acquaintances didn’t think it was possible, or that I could do it. It wasn’t until I had hit an all-time low in my life, rock bottom, after a break up around the age of 22-23, did I really analyse my mindset, myself, and my mentalities. Through the ‘Love Your Lines’ campaign on Instagram, I submitted my story of living with Ehlers, and the unhealthy mindsets and relationships it had caused, and that’s really when my mindset changed,” says Sara, who has moved to Los Angeles to fulfil her ambition.
One look at her photos now and you’ll realise that she has no qualms posing in either bikinis or tank tops. She has slowly become the new poster girl for the body positivity movement around the world. “When individuals started to reach out to me to show their love and support, I knew right then and there I was on a mission, a mission to make sure that every individual knew they were beautiful no matter what society tells them,” says Sara.
She is on a mission to challenge, rebel against the perception of beauty set by the modelling world, but she is humble and not alone. “I think that my girlfriend Briana Berglund and my cousin Yasmin Geurts are my two pillars of strength; without them, none of this would have been possible. My family and friends are all amazing and continuously offer their never-ending love and support,” says Sara.
She doesn’t let any negativity distract her from her goal. “I try to stay away from comments, as I know not everyone sees the light in my mission. Through my incredible support system, I am able to keep a level head and remind myself that this whole thing isn’t about me, it’s about all of us,” she says.