Photography

This model with ‘cat eye syndrome’ is changing the way we see beauty

Time to broaden your perspective and see that there are countless meanings of the word ‘beautiful’.

After Winnie Harlow, the 19-year-old model with a pigment condition called ‘vitiligo’ landed a contract with Diesel, it seems the world has never been more ready to accept alternative definitions of beauty.

In recent years, the world of high fashion modeling has welcomed plus-sized models, wheelchair users, octogenarians and androgynous as well as transgender individuals. It’s nice to see an industry, that has previously brainwashed generations of young people into perceiving themselves as ugly just for not conforming to a specific type, diversifying its approach to being gorgeous.

The latest challenger of the outmoded view of beauty is Caitin Stickels, a 29-year-old model/actress/singer from Seattle.

Caitin was born with a rare chromosomal condition called Schmid–Fraccaro syndrome that can cause facial abnormalities. In her case, she was born with a cleft palette and a lack of tissue in her irises which gives her the appearance of having feline eyes, hence the other name for the condition: cat eye syndrome.

Industry leading fashion photographer Nick Knight shot a super sexy series of photos with Stickels after she was discovered through her Instagram page. The images were then featured in an editorial for V magazine in which the model wrote:

“I never dreamed of being a model or being a part of the fashion industry. I always admired from afar and meanwhile tried to recreate my own expressions through fashion, photography, and art… This collaboration has been the most beautiful whirlwind of my life.”

The collection of stunning photographs went viral, but Caitin has not allowed the fame to go to her head.

“All I know is that I’m here to fulfill myself and hopefully what I do can help others to build their own dreams as well,’ said the model (who also happens to be covered in awesome tattoos) in a follow up interview with Cosmo.

“If it draws a lot of attention, that’s more than fine. I really, really want to see the world change.”

About the author

Milo Sumner is a day-dreamer, living and breathing in London. When feeling low, he tends to cut loose and chase after dogs in the park. Otherwise he can usually be found pondering what to have for lunch.

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