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4-Year-Old Model with Rare Skin Condition is Challenging Beauty Standards

Harper Foy came into the world fighting.

Harper was born with Harlequin Ichthyosis (HI), a rare skin condition that only occurs in 1 of 500,000 newborns. It is not something that can be detected in utero so when her mother Angie Foy gave birth to her, doctors were surprised by the thick armor-like plaque covering her body and immediately rushed her to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Harper’s skin as a newborn. (Photo courtesy of Angie Foy)

The hospital had never seen anything like it. Children born with HI experience many life-threatening complications such as difficulty in breathing and eating. The plaque covering Harper’s skin was so tight it constricted blood flow to her hands and feet and flipped her eyelids out. Doctors gave her a 50-50 chance to live.

And she did!

Born a Fighter

Harper is now four and lives in Washington state with her family. Her condition requires round-the-clock care and she is constantly having baths, showers, and reapplication of Aquafor to keep her skin from flaking. People have started to notice and would often stare at her whenever she goes outside.

“When we take her out and she’s not all lubed up, that’s when people really start staring and getting scared,” said her mother Angie in an interview with Today. She explains that her daughter’s red ‘snake-like’ skin stops a lot of people.

Angie knew that her daughter was going to have this attention all her life and decided to channel it into something fun — modelling!

Beautiful and Confident in Her Own Rare Skin Condition

Harper just signed a modeling contract with an agency in Seattle, joining the likes of former America’s Next Top Model contestant Winnie Harlow who has vitiligo, in spreading awareness for different

Watch this special photoshoot she had with her doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

If a young girl like Harper can face the world with confidence in her own skin, then why can’t we?

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