Nobody should ever receive a different level of treatment simply because of how they appear.

Unfortunately, children and adults engage in this behavior frequently, which is never appropriate. Ask Ilka Brühl, born with the uncommon genetic condition ectodermal dysplasia, which impacted her facial form.

The German student, subjected to cruel slurs at school, eventually wished she could somehow turn invisible. At the same time, she excelled in school and ultimately understood that sharing her own experience could benefit others.

Ilka is now a published author and model. She strives to inspire individuals to see their inner beauty and embrace one another for who they are through social media and a podcast she hosts.

Here is her amazing tale and how she seems at 30.


Ilka Brühl Instagram/ilkabruehl

I want you, the reader, to take a moment to consider your life when you were 16 years old. I remember a lot of that time, both good and awful. Overall, though, it was a moment of great change. I had to contend with increased hormone levels, emotions, and occasionally even thinking difficulties.

Born with ectodermal dysplasia, Ilka Brühl

I hope it was overall a good moment in your life like it was in mine.

Imagine being referred to as “Freak,” “Alien,” or “Pig Nose” at the age of 16 now. Imagine that no one at school wanted to play with you and that when other kids saw you, they made fun of you and pointed.

The majority of us have never experienced such brutality. Ilka Brühl, a German teenager, lived with it daily.

Ilka was born with cleft lips and a cleft palate. Ectodermal dysplasia is the name of the uncommon hereditary condition that alters one’s facial anatomy.

Before having surgery to correct it, she endured a long period of suffering from the deformity.

Later, though, she understood that her disability no longer characterized her appearance. Instead, Ilka concluded that surgery could not provide beauty, and she could accept her face just as it was.

Ilka now serves as a global role model for millions of people. She aspires to assist others by doing her work.

Ilka Brühl Instagram/ilkabruehl

Ilka Brühl’s childhood

Ilka Brühl’s parents believed their daughter to be in a perfect condition up to the day of her birth in January 1992. She was. Doctors did note that the young girl was having breathing issues. For some reason, her nose’s airways had grown congested.

Her cleft palate required emergency surgery, which doctors performed.

By that point, it was obvious that there was something “strange” about little Ilka.

School may be very tough for many kids throughout the world. Unfortunately, Ilka learned that more than most others. She was like everyone else, but the kids at her school didn’t get it, even if her face was a little different.

According to rumors, children at school teased her about how she looked and made fun of her.

“At first, I pondered: How else should I appear? I am that way! But after giving it some thought, I noticed that my nose was different when I glanced in the mirror. Then you start doubting yourself,” she told Kurier in Germany.

She was a gorgeous little girl, but bullies at school were persistent. They never wanted to play with her and called her things like “Freak,” “Alien,” or “Pig Nose.”

Ilka Brühl Instagram/ilkabruehl

Because my tear duct was underdeveloped and my paranasal sinuses were extremely sensitive to moisture as a youngster, I frequently suffered from eye infections and migraines, Ilka added.

However, I was always able to manage the symptoms.

Resisted on having her photo taken at home.

“My parents always made me feel like I was right the way I was,” she continued. I used to be able to correct idiotic remarks or glances confidently. However, around adolescence, the question arose, “If I’m meant to be so normal, why you don’t see individuals like me anywhere?

Ilka even made looks on purpose in photographs so her parents wouldn’t hang them up in the house.

That was my avoidance tactic, the woman admitted. “I don’t have to view it if I look at pictures so stupidly that my mum doesn’t hang it up.”

Ilka experienced an increase in her level of self-doubt as she grew older. Not just from what she overheard in class but also from television advertising. Ilka said that businesses frequently released advertisements that promoted social standards of what was attractive, and she felt she was never represented. The girl claimed that, as a result, displaying her face was much more embarrassing than showing herself naked.

She was subjected to a lot of bullying at school, but she resisted letting it affect her. Ilka excelled academically and earned the highest grades in her class.

Ilka Brühl Instagram/ilkabruehl

She said, “It was like a type of double life.”

Before the photo session, everything changed.

Due to her lack of confidence and self-esteem, Ilka found it difficult to make acquaintances.

She had ten operations, and even though she struggled with accepting herself, things started to improve over time. She quickly transformed into a self-assured woman who wished to serve as an example for others after realizing that she wasn’t less valuable than everyone else.

Everything changed in 2014 when she was en route to her first picture shoot.

She stated, as quoted by Insider, “I was on the edge of turning around numerous times on the way to [the photographer] because I was so frightened that she would laugh at me when she saw me in real life.”

Being in front of the camera has taught me that it’s good to accept that you have flaws and mistakes. Make the most of it, she advised.

Ilka had a nose job when she was 20 years old. Ilka initially believed the procedure would finally give her the guts to embrace herself; however, it was largely for medical reasons.


But after the operation, things developed differently.

“You can shine from within if you accept who you are,”

“As soon as the wounds were healed, I saw the following flaw. I realized that beauty could not be made on an operating table at that precise time, Ilka told BILD.

“For me, appearance is the essence of [beautiful]. It’s nicer than the perfect person who doesn’t like themselves to glow from within if you accept yourself.

Ilka understood there were other things she could do instead of modifying her appearance through additional procedures. It was more important for her to learn to accept herself than for others to view her as a “normal” person.

“I became more approachable and improved my self-esteem. And realized: “I retreat from them; the others don’t!”

Ilka was aware of her “odd” appearance, but this was not a bad thing. She preferred to value her peculiarities. The woman, born in Germany, wanted to share her hardships and life experiences because she recognized she might help people accept themselves for who they are.

So Brühl published a podcast about how she deals with self-doubt. She also offers advice on how to love oneself more. Even her book, Differently Beautiful – How I Learned to Love Myself, has been released.

A person eating a slice of pizza Description automatically generated with medium confidence Instagram/ilkabruehl

Project Grenzenlos, which translates to Project Limitless, was founded by her and a few pals in 2018. The campaign aims to draw attention to the beauty of those with physical disabilities and other deformities. It fits Ilka Brühl’s definition of beauty, in her opinion.

Images of Ilka Brühl

“I think EVERYBODY is gorgeous in his or her way,” she remarked on Instagram. You are not pretty just because you are different, I frequently read, and it is true! I am attractive because EVERYONE is attractive. It doesn’t matter if you are a traditional beauty or tall, short, stout, thin, black, or white.

Ilka uses her blog and Instagram to express her life’s journey and personal observations.

She recently worked on a children’s book, and on a few occasions, she revealed images of herself when she was younger.

“I choose to display a baby photo of myself. Since you can more clearly see my “fault” there, I frequently receive direct messages asking why I appear the way I do,” she stated.

I was initially hesitant since some of you thought that was excessive. But it is incorrect; it should look like any other infant image.

“Everyone who knows me can affirm that it is incredibly important for me and that I want to help others,” she continued in a Facebook post.

I want to aid those with certain flaws and parents of newborns concerned about whether their child will be accepted in society.

Ilka has also done an increasing number of modeling gigs since Project Grenzenlos premiered in 2018, and she looks amazing!


Ilka is now widely regarded as an important role model. Her path is incredibly amazing, and because of her social media, people worldwide can follow her daily activities. She currently has more than 33,000 Instagram followers.

Got hitched to her beloved Philip

Ilka has accepted her features and grown into a role model for others. Additionally, she has met the love of her life.

She married Philip, her future spouse, last year. And they seem very content together!

On Instagram, Ilka posted a photo of herself wearing her wedding gown.

“The wedding itself was, for me, unbelievably stunning. I couldn’t believe how well things went when I woke up the following morning,” Ilka wrote.

“Sunny weather, everyone was happy, and my spouse looked wonderful,” the speaker continues. I cried a lot since I was feeling very teary. Being able to love someone so deeply is a huge privilege, and I appreciate it. I’m eagerly anticipating everything that lies ahead.

I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be able to refer to such a wonderful person as my spouse right now.

Nobody is flawless. However, we should always treat one another with respect, regardless of how “different” some individuals may look or whether they have a disability.

Ilka Brühl is a role model for others, and her tale merits respect, especially because it can benefit individuals.

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