Ilka Brühl, a 26-year-old German woman, is on a mission to spread empowerment and self-love. Brühl is using photographs of herself and her powerful story to "remind the world that everyone is beautiful."
Brühl began posing for photographer friends two years ago and their positive feedback encouraged the young woman to be her authentic self.
There was so much positive feedback, that I got more and more courage to show myself as I am. Pure and unaffected. There is only one way to be ugly: by having an ugly character. No one has to hide because of their appearance!
Brühl told her story to Project Grenzenlos, a campaign that uses photography to explore the true meaning of beauty.
Translated from German, Brühl said:
Hello, my name is Ilka and I am 25 years old. I was born with a facial cleft and my nose airways were not properly formed. 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.
I spent the first three months of my life completely in the hospital. Because my respiratory tract was indeed exposed and kept open about tubes, but I have probably like to pull. During this time, most of a total of ten operations took place, so I have no memories at all. Thanks to the last surgery four years ago, I now get even better air, I have a rare cold and tears run no longer through my face.
Brühl continues to receive positive feedback, even on older photos she shared on social media.
Edit: Just saw the trailer of 'wonder' with Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson about a boy who looks different. Maybe it's a bit cheesy, but I like the message so much that I had tears in the eyes instantly. Did anyone watch the movie and can recommend it? ------ A long time ago when it was so cold and my dark circles so big. 😂 Photo: @aufzehengehen
Just some thoughts because I post so many photos of me lately: I was always a very shy person with no self-confidence. Don't worry I don't wallow in self-pity because it is my own decision how I interact with others (I know by now 👏). But it wasn't easy to get this in my head. Photography helped me a lot, it was like a therapy. Both ways, to stand in front of a camera and to take photos. It shows me that every defect and mistake is a part of you and that's okay. Make the best of it ✅ So sorry for all the photos, but I need this because this is a long process. I'm on my way but there are still some obstacles to overcome. If you are not interested in this story I totally understand this, but then it is the best to leave my page for a while. And I want to thank you for all your lovely comments. I'm so sorry that I don't answer you at the moment. But every single comment means a lot to me and helps me on my journey. You are great 😍 Sorry for this long post, but I had to say this🎈💗 Photo: @sinanikita Model: Me
With @chrisxhieronimus at #siegerland16 for @shipsheip :) Lately a friend saw this picture of me and said that I'm looking so old and exhausted because of the dark circles around my eyes. In that moment I realized how typical they are for me and that they don't bother me. They belong to me and it's natural. So nobody has to retouch them. :) ______________________________ #goldenbuKacke16 #siegerland16
The public has responded in an overwhelmingly positive way to Brühl's message.
H/T: Bored Panda