This Popular Models Was Often Rejected From Swimsuit Jobs Because Of A Lunar On Her Hip But She Put Her Foot Down In Hopes Of Improving Mental Health In The Industry
The beauty and fashion world can be cruel. Muriel Villera would know. The swimsuit model has been in the industry for 10 years and has repeatedly been turned away from opportunities because of a birthmark on her thigh. But in one of her latest shoots, she didn’t just snag a major gig — the brand also fully embraced her body and skin — sans Photoshop.
“This entire shoot was a dream, but the fact that my birthmark wasn’t photoshopped out of any of the images just made it 10000000 times more incredible,” Villera, 28, wrote of her recent shoot for UK-based fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing on her Instagram.
In the photo, the stunning Colombian model is donning a diamond- and rhinestone -gilded orange two-piece bathing suit that bares her slight dark pigmentation on her upper right thigh.
According to the Los Angeles-based beauty, the birthmark has cost her several gigs over the years. For the ones she landed, Villera said her skin was often edited.
Rejections occurred so often that her team sometimes suggested her to take dangerous measures to remove the birthmark.
“My agents would ask me to buy any sort of make-up or bleaching creams to ‘fix’ it,” she said.
Regardless of being a beautiful model with tens of thousands of followers, the industry’s negative response to her skin made her “feel like it was such a curse.” That’s why she was so thrilled to work with PrettyLittleThings, which recently announced it would stop editing out all stretch marks, birthmarks, and scars from its models.
“Working with brands like PLT has given me hope, though, for the future of modeling and the mental health of those who work in the industry,” she said.
While adoring her skin fully was a yearslong challenge, she said her birthmark is hers and she has grown to love it.
On her instagram, she left followers with a message she hopes will inspire them to similarly appreciate the parts of themselves that society has deemed less than perfect.
“Embrace everything about yourself. It’s kinda magical when you do,” she wrote.
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