SEE: Model shows colostomy bags to world & her courage goes viral

A 23-year-old English makeup artist who suffers from Crohn's disease is finally seeing her dreams come true. Bethany Townsend had hopes of one day pursuing a career in modeling, but after having two colostomy bags fitted back in 2010, she no longer felt as secure about her body. Everything changed though after she bravely posed in a bikini exposing her colostomy bags for the world to see!


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Townsend was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, when she was just 3. After her bowels ruptured, she was forced to have two colostomy bags fitted to her body back in 2010. These bags collect waste from the intestines outside the body while protecting the surrounding skin from contamination. She was so self-conscious about them, that she didn't even give modeling another thought.

But one day while she was vacationing in Mexico with her husband, Townsend decided she wasn't going to hide her colostomy bags anymore. She slipped on a bikini and exposed her colostomy bags to the world. She even took pictures of herself and posted them up on her Facebook and Instagram accounts. She felt so good about it she even sent the photos to Crohn's and Colitis UK Facebook group ... and after that, the pics went viral, receiving almost ten million likes.

She was so inspired by all the positive feedback that she considered giving her modeling dreams another shot. In fact, Townsend already booked her first gig. "So excited to be asked to be a model for Vanilla Blush, an amazing lingerie company that specializes in 'sexy; underwear for people with colostomy bags etc," she posted on Instagram.

I'm so happy for Townsend and so inspired by her story. I think it's important for the world to recognize that beauty isn't just a retouched model on the cover of a fashion magazine--it's about what's in the inside and this 23-year-old is the true definition of what beauty is really about!

Image via Bethany Townsend/Instagram

Topics: model