Caitin Stickels is bringing attention to the chromosomal Schmid–Fraccaro syndrome, otherwise known as "cat eye syndrome," in the most beautiful way.
Stickels posed in V Magazine's spring fashion shoot, and the results are stunningly gorgeous.
When photographer Nick Knight discovered Stickels (aka Caitin Kitten) on Instagram, he knew she was the perfect model for this defiant fashion feature.
And he was right. She flat-out murdered the game with her poses.
Ironically, she'd been admiring Knight's work since the '80s.
"Actually, being in his presence and seeing the magic happen before my eyes, seeing the same exact images on his walls that I used to have on mine when I was a teenager, it was beyond surreal," she wrote in the spread's accompanying essay.
She described working with him as "the most beautiful whirlwind of my life."
This isn't just a pretty set of pictures, though. It's a bold statement about representation in fashion and beauty.
People with features such as Stickel's cleft palate are widely ignored by magazines and fashion photographers.
And that kind of exclusion allows for a narrow standard of beauty and normality to go unchallenged.
With her raw sensuality, Stickel destroys the widely held notion that people living with genetic disorders and disabilities are asexual beings.
Which, while entirely untrue, is a widespread representation of those people in mainstream film and television.
So keep doing you, Caitin Stickels. The fashion world is better because of it.
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