A YOUNG woman who was told by a stranger that she looked like she'd been "mauled by a gorilla" due to her rare skin condition has had the last laugh - by being invited to model for Vogue

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Videographer / director:
Producer: Tom Midlane, Stephanie Stijkel
Editor: Beth Angus

Lucy, 21, originally from Texas but now a student at University of St Andrews in Scotland, has recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (EB), meaning any friction against her skin can cause it to shed, leaving painful blisters and wounds. Lucy's condition means she even needs to be careful when brushing her teeth or eating, with scar tissue forming where food grazes her throat. Her most recent operation involved having skin from her leg grafted on to her hands to try and resolve the 'mittening' caused by excessive scar tissue, which had rendered her right hand unuseable. Growing up she would hide her body, with total strangers asking her if she had been in a "horrific accident" or "mauled by a gorilla". Lucy said: “I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been told to my face or behind my back that I’d be hot if it weren’t for my scars, or have been referred to as 'the girl with the scars' as though they were my only defining feature and negate all other aspects of my appearance or personality." As well as being an art history and classics student, a disability advocate and an author, Lucy also models in order to raise awareness of her condition and show that disability doesn't have to stand in the way of beauty - and was thrilled to be invited by Vogue Italia to feature in Fantabody’s “I AM THE WOMAN I AM” campaign. "I know that I have a terminal condition, it’s going to make my life shorter, but I’ve known that for 21 years," Lucy said. “I could see my scars as something I’m fighting against, or I could see my body as something working to keep me alive – which is better?”