Meet Natalia Castellar Calvani, a 17-year-old model with the international agency NEXT Models. Beautiful, right? She is, no doubt, but the teen wasn’t always praised for her looks.
Nope. Growing up, she was bullied for one of the very features that got her hired by the international agency NEXT Models: her awesome and enviable brows. Kids (and some adults) can be mean, and they’ll latch onto whatever makes someone different to try to hurt them. But as you learn when you grow up, it’s often that which makes you different that brings people to love you.
“I was bullied terribly because of how thick and long they were, so I wanted to shave them down,” Castellar told W Magazine. But she didn’t.
Instead, Castellar’s sister, who happens to be a photographer, started snapping and posting her photos to social platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. The accounts exploded, gaining thousands of followers who were obsessed with the teen’s unique look and awesome bushy brows.
Castellar isn’t the first model with standout features to make it big in the modelling world–Cara Delevingne with her similarly thick brows and Winnie Harlow with her rare skin condition both come to mind–but her story is still important and inspiring. It’s one of perseverance and staying true to yourself. Rather than conforming her eyebrows to society’s standards, Castellar kept her course and came out on top.
“Now I don’t care if they stay trendy or not, I love my eyebrows,” she said. “They set me aside from other models. They’re my trademark, and I wish I would have embraced them sooner.”
Take that, bullies!