26-Year-Old With Rare Facial Defect is Helping to Reshape Beauty Standards

Image via Ilka Bruhl

Amanda Froelich | The Mind Unleashed


Did you know — of all the billions of people on the planet, only 3-5 percent are genetically pre-dispositioned to meet society’s pre-determined standards of beauty. That’s astonishing, right? Others might even say problematic, simply because when people are told there is something physically wrong with them (and that to fit into society they must look like a “10”), they begin to doubt themselves and self-obsess. When people self-obsess, they are less likely to pay attention to the world around them. This is why war, famine, genocide, and greed continue to exist.

In order to create a better world, the majority of the populace needs to fall in love with themselves. Perhaps after embracing their flaws, they will then help to shape a better world. An individual who is promoting this very message is Ilka Brühl, a 26-year-old woman from Germany who is devoted to spreading messages of body positivity.

“Remind the world that everyone is beautiful,” she says.


Brühl was born with a facial cleft. This common deformity has affected her life from day one.

“I was born with a facial cleft and my nose airways were not properly formed,” she told Project Grenzenlos. “In addition, I lacked on the right side of the tear duct, so that the permanent natural moistening of the eye has led to me right tears have always run out of the eye.”

After countless operations, the 26-year-old is now strong and confident. By modeling, she seeks to inspire people to love themselves.

It wasn’t easy to begin posing in front of the camera. But, the positive feedback she received prompted her to continue. “There was so much positive feedback, that I got more and more courage to show myself as I am. Pure and unaffected,” said Brühl.

“There is only one way to be ugly: by having an ugly character. No one has to hide because of their appearance!” she adds.

Brühl is helping to re-shape beauty standards one photo at a time. Scroll through 10+ below:






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