Tayla Clement, New Zealand woman who can’t smile due to rare disease, signs with modeling agency

NEW ZEALAND (KABC) — A 24-year-old New Zealander, born with a physical inability to smile, is making her dreams come true.

Tayla Clement suffers from a neurological disorder called Moebius Syndrome, a rare congenital condition that results from underdevelopment of the facial nerves that control certain eye movements and facial expressions.

Despite his condition, Clément is the physical embodiment of joy.

“To anyone who doesn’t know me, I would just say I’m the girl who can’t smile,” she said. “I love being able to help others, empower and inspire others. It enlightens me so much, and if I could smile, you would see the biggest smile on my face because it enlightens me so much.”

Clement is known online as “The Girl Who Can’t Smile”, and growing up the bullying she faced was relentless.

“My eyebrows don’t move, my eyes don’t move and my upper lip doesn’t move which means I can’t smile, hence the name ‘The Girl Who Can’t Smile’,” he said. she stated. “People used to bring plastic bags to school and put them over my head because I was so ugly and didn’t want to be seen. I think when you grow up you’re told you’re different and that you’re ugly and that you’re worthless, you believe it because you don’t know anything else.”

Despite her painful past, she refuses to let this light in her go out.

“It makes me quite emotional, but I’m so grateful that it was me who went through it all because I can inspire people and help people and that makes me so happy,” Clement said.

Now she’s taking that passion to the next level and she’s about to start helping people on a massive scale. Clement recently signed with an international modeling agency, but the move means more to her than photo shoots and fashion shows.

“To be so openly accepted and wanted was so amazing,” she said. “I didn’t have anyone to see in the movies or in the media or on the cover of magazines or headlining brands or similar billboards, and so I felt really worthless because I didn’t saw myself nowhere.”

So what does joy and happiness mean to the 24-year-old? It certainly goes beyond striking a pose.

“It’s another level of joy and happiness to be so content and comfortable and joyful and happy within who you are as a person, it’s also the most liberating thing in the world,” she said.

As if being a role model and motivator wasn’t enough, Clement is also a Paralympic athlete and has set shot put records in New Zealand.

To follow Clément’s journey on Instagram here.

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