Tayla Clement was born with underdeveloped facial nerves that control some eye movements and facial expressions, called Moebius syndrome.
She is known online now as “The Girl Who Can’t Smile” and is the role model she needed growing up, moving past her bullying days when she was made fun of for being different:
“My eyebrows don’t move, my eyes don’t track, and my upper lip doesn’t move, which means I can’t smile, hence the name, ‘The girl who can’t smile,'” she said. “People would bring plastic bags to school to put over my head because I was so ugly and didn’t want to be seen. I think when you grow up, being told that you’re different and you’re ugly and you’re worthless, you believe it because you don’t know anything else.”
“To anyone who doesn’t know me, I would just say I’m the girl who can’t smile,” she said. “I love being able to help others and empower and inspire others. It lights me up so much, and if I could smile, you’d see the biggest smile on my face because it truly lights me up so much.”
Signing with an international modeling agency means more to Clement than photoshoots and fashion shows.
“It makes me quite emotional, but I’m just so grateful that it was me that went through everything because I get to inspire people and help people and it makes me so happy,” said Clement.
“To be so openly accepted and wanted just felt so amazing,” she said. “I had no one to see in movies or in media or on the front of magazines or headlining brands or on like billboards, and so I felt really worthless because I didn’t see myself anywhere.”
Being comfortable with herself, she feels next level happy, free:
“It’s another level of joy and happiness to be so content and comfortable and joyful and happy within who you are as a person, it’s also the most freeing thing in the world,” she said.
(“24-year-old who can’t smile due to rare condition signs with modeling agency”)
You can follow Clement on Instagram.
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