A woman who suffers from a condition that leaves her with saggy skin has become a champion of body positivity on Instagram.
Sara Geurts, a 28-year-old model, has an extreme form of a connective tissue disorder Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) called Dermatosparaxis EDS.
It that means her body is deficient in collagen, causing her skin to notably sag, as well as leaving her bed-bound and unable to eat.
“I just wanted to cover it up. I didn’t want anyone asking me about it. I wore jeans and sweaters at 90-degree weather,” she told Metro of how her body confidence took a dive when she was a teenager.
“I refused go to the pool; didn’t want to be in a swimsuit all that type of stuff, just because I knew people would look and people would wonder.”
Sara, from Minnesota in the United States, says she first became aware of her hyper-stretchy skin when she was aged six or seven, and was diagnosed between the ages of eight and ten.
“All the kids in the neighbourhood thought I was so cool, because I had the stretchy skin,” she recalled.
But it is only in the last few years in her twenties that she has once again begun to love her own body.
Sara decided to raise awareness of EDS to help those for whom the disorder is invisible.
“I’m kind of the rare case where I am visible,” she added of the plus-side of her saggy skin.
“And so that’s why a lot of people out there aren’t getting the treatment that they need because the doctors can’t physically see anything wrong with them.”
She started to share images of her body on Instagram and has gained 78.7k followers.
The body positivity star, who credits her girlfriend Bri for helping support her during a “fragile” last 12 months of ill health, regularly keeps her fans updated with her progress.
Sara, who also has chronic fatigue syndrome, recently revealed that tests have shown her neck might not soon be able to support the weight of her head, and money is being raised on a Go Fund Me page for her treatment.