Home » Young girl was born with rare facial defect – now she’s breaking beauty standards with her modeling career

Young girl was born with rare facial defect – now she’s breaking beauty standards with her modeling career

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Ilka Brühl is an inspiration for others, and her story deserves recognition.

Learning to love ourselves, flaws and all, is the key to living a fulfilling life. However, for those born with conditions that make them stand out from the crowd, this can be a daunting task. Many people face similar struggles, but it’s important to remember that being different doesn’t make you any less worthy or beautiful. Once you embrace this truth, everything can change for the better.

Ilka Brühl’s parents knew from the moment she was born that her cleft nose and lips, a rare genetic disorder affecting facial structure, might make her life more challenging. Despite this, they were determined to teach their daughter to love herself for who she was. It took time, but eventually, Ilka learned to see herself as perfect just the way she was.


Ilka Brühl, now 30 years old, is a stunning young woman who has come a long way. Despite her looks being breathtaking today, she had a difficult childhood due to her rare genetic disorder. To improve her condition, she underwent several procedures over the years.

As a child, Ilka struggled to make friends and was subjected to constant teasing and bullying. Other students called her hurtful names like “Freak,” “Alien,” and “Pig Nose” and refused to play with her. Despite being just a child, Ilka was aware of her differences and struggled to accept them.

“At first, I thought, ‘Why should I look any different?’ That’s just the way I am. But then I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that my nose was different. That’s when the self-doubt began,” she shared with German newspaper Kurier.


Ilka shared that as a child, she often suffered from eye infections due to her undeveloped tear duct and headaches caused by her paranasal sinuses being sensitive to moisture. However, despite these challenges, she learned to live with the symptoms.

Her parents played a crucial role in helping her feel confident and accepted, but as she entered puberty, she began to question why she didn’t see more people who looked like her.

She also struggled with the unrealistic beauty standards portrayed in media, which added to her self-doubt.

To counter her negative feelings, Ilka became an overachiever in school, earning straight A’s and striving to be the best student she could be.


When Ilka turned 20, she underwent another surgery, this time a nose correction. But unlike previous procedures, something changed within her after the surgery was completed.

“After the wounds had healed, I noticed the next imperfection. That’s when I realized that beauty couldn’t be created on the operating table,” Ilka shared with BILD.

For her, true beauty lies in accepting oneself and radiating from within. She realized that more surgeries weren’t the answer to her struggles, but self-acceptance was.

“I started approaching people more openly and learned to love myself. I also noticed that people didn’t withdraw from me, but I was the one withdrawing from them,” she added.

In 2014, she had her first photoshoot.

Ilka’s journey towards self-acceptance and love has led her to inspire others to do the same. She even challenged herself to a photoshoot with a photographer, despite feeling terrified that she would be judged for her appearance.

As she revealed in an interview with Insider, the experience taught her that every imperfection is a part of who you are and that it’s okay to embrace them. She wrote about her journey and shared tips on how to love oneself in her podcast, and her book, Differently Beautiful – How I Learned to Love Myself, has helped countless others to find self-love and acceptance.

Ilka’s story is a testament to the power of self-love and acceptance, showing that beauty is not limited to physical appearance but radiates from within. Her journey is an inspiration to anyone struggling with self-doubt and self-acceptance, proving that with a little self-love, anything is possible.


Ilka Brühl, together with some friends, founded Project Grenzenlos, which aims to showcase the beauty of individuals with deformities and other differences. The campaign is in line with her perception of beauty, which values uniqueness and diversity.

In one of her Instagram posts, she shared her belief that everyone is beautiful in their own way. She also acknowledged that people often say that being different makes one not pretty, but she disagrees with that notion. For her, beauty is not limited to a certain standard or physical appearance, but rather encompasses all individuals, regardless of their height, weight, skin color, or physical features.

Ilka Brühl is open about her journey towards self-acceptance and understands how she can positively influence others.

“I decided to share a baby photo of myself because it shows my ‘defect’ more clearly. Additionally, I receive many direct messages asking why I look the way I do,” she explained.

Initially, she was hesitant to share the photo because some people thought it was too much, but she believes it should be as normal as any other baby picture.

“Everyone who knows me can confirm that this is important to me, and that I want to help others, including those with deformities and the parents of babies who are afraid their child will not be accepted in the world,” she said.

Last year, Ilka got married to her husband Philip, and it was an incredible moment that she described as the happiest day of her life.

“The wedding was an absolutely beautiful experience for me. The following day, I was amazed by how everything went so perfectly,” Ilka wrote.

“The weather was sunny, everyone was in high spirits, and my husband (still feels strange to call him that) looked stunning. I was overcome with emotions and shed many tears of joy. To love someone so deeply is a great privilege, and I feel infinitely grateful for it. I’m so excited about what the future holds, and I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have such an amazing person as my husband now.”

Ilka is a great inspiration to show that being perfect in terms of appearance is not necessary to be a perfect human being. Her journey is a testament to the fact that everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way.

Her work with Project Grenzenlos has impacted many lives by promoting acceptance and highlighting the beauty of differences. Ilka’s modeling career is also a great reminder that it’s important to never stop chasing your dreams and that hard work and dedication can take you to great heights.

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Tylor Miller

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