Bethany Townsend

Bethany Townsend is already a role model, and soon she will be a successful model too. The Daily Mail reported on the aspiring model from Worcester, England, after a photo of her posing with her colostomy bags in a bikini went viral.

Bethany suffers from Crohn’s disease. She was diagnosed with the condition at the age of three and had two colostomy bags fitted in 2010, after her bowel ruptured. Initially, she felt insecure about the devices, but on holiday in Mexico with her husband, she decided to proudly show them off and wear a bikini.

Six months after her trip, she contacted Crohn’s and Colitis UK to see if they would be interested in featuring her story. After Bethany’s story was posted on their Facebook page, it went viral. It received almost ten MILLION likes (and counting).

Bethany, who is currently a makeup artist, says that the positive feedback gave her the encouragement to pursue a modelling career again. She had originally considered the career path, but stopped after she was initially fitted with the colostomy bags.

Despite only recently returning to modelling, Bethany has already booked a job. She posted on her Instagram account that she had been asked to model for a lingerie label that designs for people with colostomy bags:

“So excited to be asked to be a model for Vanilla Blush. An amazing lingerie company that specialises in “sexy” underwear for people with colostomy bags etc.”

It’s no surprise that Bethany’s career is taking off. Not only does she have the gorgeous features and beautiful tattoos that make her a good “traditional” model, but she also has an interesting story with an important message to get across.

It’s too bad that true models like Bethany don’t pose on magazine covers and billboards more often. We should stop with the photoshopped versions of supposed ideal beauties and start embracing a wider definition of beauty. With the impact Bethany’s had so far, she might be the right woman to kick-start the change. Paging Vogue!

To read more on Bethany’s story check out The Daily Mail and Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

(Photo: bethyt_/Instagram)