America’s Next Top Model cycle 23 is reaching its climax, with only a few girls left in the running — including Courtney Nelson.
But who is she, and what’s her story?
Courtney, 25, is from San Francisco, CA, but she also spends a lot of time in NYC and Los Angeles.
She suffered from scoliosis growing up, where the spine twists and curves to the side.
Fourteen of her vertebrae were completely fused, leaving her struggling to breath as her spine pressed against her ribcage.
She was first diagnosed at the age of 10, before her condition dramatically worsened when she had her teenage growth spurt.
At the age of 16 she underwent surgery at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento to stop it getting worse, leaving her with a large scar down her back.
Her spine was completely restructured, and she had two rods fitted down the length of her spinal column.
It took her more than two years to fully recover.
Courtney spoke about her condition while doing a shoot for 35mm Magazine.
She said: “No one with Scoliosis says, ‘oh yeah, I want to be a model’. It’s not technically considered beautiful to have a giant scar down their back.
“I started to understand what was happening and how serious it was — the scar became a self-confidence issue for me. Not everyone is ok with me having a scar.
“I think it’s inspiring to work with people who find the beauty in something that isn’t the typical idea of beauty. It just took the wall down that I had.
“Once you find confidence within your flaws you don’t have anything that makes you feel inadequate.”
She used to watch America’s Next Top Model growing up, but never thought she would be able to be on the show due to her condition.
Courtney recently set up a non-profit called Beneath The Beautiful to raise awareness and money for kids needing surgery for the condition.
The website just went live a few days ago.
According to her JE Model profile, Courtney’s vital stats are Height: 5′ 7″ | Bust: 30″ | Waist: 24″ | Hips: 33″ Dress: 0 | Shoes: 8.5 | Hair: Dark Blonde | Eyes: Hazel.
In her spare time she loves to watch Workaholics on TV, and has a string of hobbies include collaging and spray-painting. She also loves cats, and has one called Stringbean!
Courtney has a growing Instagram following, with nearly 80,000 fans, where she posts lots of her modelling pics.
She also regularly keeps fans updated with her latest news on Twitter.
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