The Short of It
After 19-year-old Isa-Bella Leclair wrote a personal essay about how her rare genetic condition affects her body and included a photo of herself in a bikini, it went viral with people applauding her body confidence.
Leclair was diagnosed at birth with Parkes Weber syndrome, which consists of having multiple abnormal blood vessels in one part of the body. For Leclair, it affects her right leg, which makes it appear nearly twice the size of her left leg.
"Because I was born with the malformation, I had no other choice but to get used to people staring and asking me questions," Leclair wrote in the essay on The Lymphie Life, a web community focused on Lymphalexa, a side effect of Parkes Weber syndrome.
The photo she used to accompany the blog post was just a snapshot from a family trip to Florida three years ago. She says she was "just a normal teen posting a photo album of her spring vacations."
"My condition doesn't define me and no way I will let it stop me from wearing a cute swimsuit or a cute dress. I don't fit in skinny jeans or fancy shoes, so I have to find alternatives, but I always end up still feeling good about my body," she wrote.
Leclair's body confidence hit a chord with many who praised the teen's positive attitude on social media.
"I am feeling a tornado of emotions since my story has gone viral on the Internet ... and also recognize the responsibility that comes with being a role model," Leclair told People magazine.
Natural beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and Leclair's acceptance of her own body is moving.
"I'm very fortunate to have the possibility to inspire, but really everybody has. You just have to find a cause you believe in greatly and people who need a little extra light and guidance," Leclair said.
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