This young lady has a rare genetic condition, which caused one of her legs to grow twice as big as the other. Despite this obstacle, she won a beauty pageant, lives a normal life and continues to inspire others to be confident in their own skin.
Isa-Bella Leclair from Campbellton, Canada was born with Parkes Weber syndrome, a rare genetic disease, which caused her right leg to grow until it weighed 40 pounds. Her condition made everyday teenage life more complicated—she became unable to take part in many outdoor activities, nor fit into her favorite pair of jeans.
Her childhood wasn’t the easiest either. “Growing up I felt different depending on the surroundings I was in,” said Isa-Bella, “When I was in public at the mall or beach, people would stare at me.”
But she was still able to handle all these situations with an impressive level of maturity. “I had to grow up faster than other kids and had to realize what I had and that it was normal for people to be curious.”
Despite her handicap, Isa-Bella has always had a zest for life and was as active as she could be. She even tried her hand at baton twirling and snowboarding—she didn’t let her condition ruin her life.
Her mother, Joanne Leclair saw this positive attitude in Isa-Bella too.
“As a mom, I would expect her to come back home from school crying because she couldn’t do something, but that day never came – not once,” Joanne said. “Whatever she wanted to do she would do it. Whether it would be riding a bike, snowboarding, whatever it was.”
So, when Isa-Bella decided she would take part in a beauty pageant in her hometown, she went for it.
“My condition doesn’t define me and there’s no way I would let it stop me from wearing a cute swimsuit or a cute dress,” she said.
And not only did she compete, but she won, and was crowned ‘1st Princess’—but her main goal was to inspire others with her confidence.
“I guess at the Miss festival pageant I wasn’t really surprised, I was more I guess grateful to it. So when they called my name, I was just like: this is even better, because it means that now I can inspire even more people,” she said.
Recently, Isa-Bella’s self-confidence led her share a a swim-suit photo of herself in order to express that beauty comes from the inside.
“I guess what made me want to share my story and a picture with me in a bikini, was that for me beauty is not just what is on the outside,” she said. “For me you have to love yourself first before learning how to love others.”
She certainly gained at least one fan thanks to her attitude: her twin sister, Danyka.
“I do find her very inspirational,” said Danyka. “Seeing her be the way she is, she would just walk around and just be very comfortable in her skin. I’m very proud of her.”
Hopefully, Isa-Bella’s story will inspire many people to focus less on what is on the outside of a person and more on what is on the inside.
Everything from the media to movies these days; from the internet to advertising—unattainable looks are what people are eulogizing, following materialistic trends.
Isa-Bella’s story shows that true beauty is more about who we are than how we look. In her own words, “For me, beauty isn’t just on the outside. When I say someone is beautiful I see someone who makes you feel good when you’re around them.”