Meet the Woman Speaking Out About Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome to Break Down Beauty Standards

Featured image: Joey Rosado

Born with Klippel Trenaunay syndrome, 28-year-old Berlange Presilus faced bullying whilst growing up due to appearing differently. Her condition is rare and affects a limb of the body making it have too much soft tissue and bone growth, varicose veins, birthmarks and be larger in size. Whilst in attempt to find someone similar to herself in a media landscape of ‘cookie-cutter’ perfection, Presilus discovered that she could be the voice of those seen as ‘different’. Today, she is an advocate for in all people, and, across any appearance or degree of capability. We asked the inspiring Presilus a few questions to learn more about her journey in becoming an influential voice changing the perception of beauty.

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself; how old are you? Where are you from? What has your journey been so far to become a recognised woman inspiring others?
Hello, my name is Berlange. I was born in Haiti and I am 28 years old

My journey so far has been nothing short of amazing. I am always excited. Every little things that happens I consider a miracle. Becoming a recognized woman inspiring others is absolutely fulfilling. In the beginning, I was so afraid of what people might say or think of me, of being judged and criticized, and, that my would’ve ended once I own my truth publicly.

I’ve been through a whole lot of issues so someone may think that  I wouldn’t be afraid of anything people might say and be resilient enough to face any kind of negative criticism. However, I was still very scared. At last, I summoned the courage to speak over my fears. Growing up, I yearned to find someone who looked like me and has my condition (Klippel Trenaunay). I never found anyone. I was convinced that I was alone! For this reason, I became determined to be the person I wished I had growing up, for myself and others – no matter where they are coming from or what they need empowerment through.

 

 

We love that you passionately inspire people to refuse to fit into the categories society attempts to force them into; can you tell us about being labelled as ‘disabled’ and what you think of this and how you interpret yourself rather than your labels?
Being labeled as “disabled” simply isn’t fair and is perceptibly limiting . To me, it is disrespecting to people who do have disabilities. I am very abled body. Granted, I do have episodes where I can’t even manage to get out of bed. But, that does not mean I am disabled. I will never be small enough to fit in the box that society has always tried to fit me in.

 

What has been the most influential lesson you’ve learnt on your journey so far?
The most influential lesson I’ve learnt so far is to always speak your truth no matter if no one wants to listen; speak it over yourself and live it fully.

As you are being a healer, you are also healing. I learned that there isn’t any limit to what a person can do, except for the limits that we put on ourselves.

 

 

It’s one thing to build yourself up despite hardships, but another to build others up too; what motivates you encourage other women to see themselves as beautiful?
I am honestly my own motivator.

Based on my experiences, I began to notice the small things I had overlooked on my body. I would always see beauty in everyone else’s body but mine. So, I recognized my small mistakes and begin to nurture each part of my body which I had previously discredited, and, in turn, began to appreciate every limb l have been blessed with. I believe this is the same for every woman. There are no rules – simply nurture and love every part of you that was least embraced.

 

What does beauty mean to you?
My perception of beauty has varied through time, but for me at this moment beauty is an attitude – a mindset. Beauty goes beyond being skin deep and it comes from within. Beauty is simply happiness…BEAUTY IS YOU!

 

Learn more about Berlange Persilus here.