“Since I’ve started attending the new school I’ve definitely had my share of name-calling and taunting this year. It’s okay because not everyone can understand my struggle and can process what’s going on. For those who do it purposely, God sees all and has his plans for you. For those who have made this process easier for me, I commend you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those who are going through what I’m going through or being bullied etc. just know if all else fails, you can always talk to me and I’ll help you get through it.”
Only by reading the statement above, one can understand the torment someone must be feeling in the circumstances that they are living. This message was written as a caption three years ago on the very first picture shared by Justin Stewart on his Instagram profile.
Justin Stewart was born prematurely with a condition named Frontonasal Dysplasia, which is a rare disease that is known to have affected only 100 people around the globe. Kids who are born with this condition usually have some changes in their facial features that may include distant eyes, deformed or broad nose, having cleft in one or both sides of the nose, or even having central cleft which may affect the nose, lips, or roof of the mouth.
Justin was bullied throughout his school life and had to face the worst form of push around including name-calling and rude comments. Things were not easy on him and as per him during his school time & maintaining eye contact was the most difficult thing for him.
"When I got to high school, going through my adolescent phase, you become more aware and more conscious of how you look, what you wear, what people say. So during those times, it did affect my mental health. When I was younger my condition did affect my confidence. Avoiding eye contact was something that I would do all the time. "
Justin has a twin brother who had no issues like him and other than that he has more siblings as well, but he never really felt jealous of any other sibling and as per him all of them stick with one another and become each other's rise in the times of need.
Back in 2017, Justin started his account on Instagram and he took the initiative to start posting his pictures online to raise awareness about the condition that he had because growing up he did not have any role model to follow and get inspired from.
Soon this platform became a reason for his recognization. He did not only influence and inspire many people who were going through tough times and facing bullying but he also got the attention of the modeling industry towards his confident and beautiful soul.
Justin was contacted by the modeling agency We Speak Models online and they showed keen interest in working with him. Justin who was not that confident about facing the camera showed hesitancy initially, But the agency asked him to visit Newyork and do a test photoshoot with them before committing to them and see how it feels for him.
This experience turned out to be surreal for Justin Stewart and a beginning to everlasting success and a confidence boost.
‘I never thought I’d ever find myself in this position, it’s beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t have any set goals and am just going to take every chance I am given.”
Justin signed the modeling contract with We Speak Models and he will now be working with major brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Wrangler, and the British footwear store Office.
The facial feature that was a constant source of bullying and name-calling for some less knowledgable and unkind people, became the major reason for the acceptance of Justin in the modeling industry & it will not only help him but countless people who will find him as an inspiration and enter their desired field giving a message worldwide that the beauty on the inside reflects more loudly than the beauty outside.
"After I signed for We Speak my mom told me it was my nose that made me unique and helped me stand out from the crowd. Some friends have said it’s part of the reason why I got signed."
"This just shows that people can not dictate your future, words hurt but anything is possible if you want it enough. I want to be the best I can be and am going to give this 110%."
Justin who thought that he would not be able to maintain eye contact with anyone is now considered to be the most charismatic person in modeling, who is confident and whose eyes and smile sparkle more than the stars in the sky.
He has profoundly come up with his own business venture as well and this startup which began in 2018 is going to grow along with Justin. He will be continuing his career in modeling, pursuing his own business, and study communications as well.
"People called me some bad stuff but I haven’t let it affect who I have become. I’ve never let anyone stop me chasing what I want or being who I want to be."
Today from Justin Stewart's life journey, we have learned two great lessons:
- Teach your children to never bully or hurt anyone's feelings because they might be impacting their whole life growth with their temporary words and hatred towards them.
- Accept different abilities and everyone around you and share every incredible story like Justin's with your children from a young age rather than reading old fairy tales so that they can grow up to become more kind, accepting, and considerate.
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