Beauty comes in a myriad of forms.
Instagram user @beautybyemilylou_, a.k.a. 22-year-old Londoner Emily Jones, is making waves on the photo sharing app because of her creative looks and unique facial accessory — a feeding tube.
Jones has Ehlers-Danos syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues. Her subtype of the illness manifests in frequently dislocated joints, among other symptoms.
She’s had to use a wheelchair since she was 17, and got the feeding tube when she was 19, after an eight-month long stay in the hospital, according to her interview with Allure.
“My EDS has caused a lot of problems for me including ones with my stomach and intestines," she said. "I can't keep anything down on my own. I'm at home a lot because of my tube, but I try not to let it bring me down!"
Jones hasn’t been letting her illness stop her from pursuing her dreams of becoming a makeup artist, either. The tube is just another part of her face for her to incorporate into her looks.
"I create looks around my tube by leaving a little bit of a gap around the edges so the tape doesn't come off or come loose," Jones said "I try to put lots of drama on my eyes, the other side of my face or on my lips to detract from the tube."
She also favours a certain kind of eye makeup.
"I'm a massive fan of glitter," she said. "I love it and have glitter on daily! I'm gonna try to find some glittery tape to put on the side of my tube to match the look I'm going for."
Her feeding tube, meanwhile, isn't something she ever takes for granted.
"The tube is a part of me, and I'm grateful for it as it and the nourishment it gives me when I can't keep anything down myself,” she added.
Jones discovered makeup when she was 19. She taught herself skills through YouTube tutorials, especially ones by popular beauty gurus Nikkie Tutorials and Carly Bybel.
"I was instantly curious about how it would make me feel, as I'm a very shy person. Wearing it made me feel happy,” she said. "I'm so grateful for the skills [Nikkie and Carly] taught me and for them making me believe in me and my makeup application abilities," she added.
Jones attributes makeup with giving her the confidence to be herself and not care about judgement.
"Makeup takes away the self-consciousness I feel because of my NG tube and makes me feel gorgeous," she said. She added that highlighter was her favourite product because the external glow helped bring out her happiness.
Jones began her Instagram account in March and already has over 25,000 followers, and said she is grateful for all the support she has received.
"People are being so kind, and I'm so happy to be doing something I'm really passionate about. I've had a lot of fellow tube-fed people approach me saying they're grateful I'm giving them the confidence to do makeup, as well," she said. She admitted she’s also gotten negative comments but she tried not to let them bother her.
Jones told Allure she plans to follow the same path as her beauty guru inspirations and start her own YouTube channel in the future.
For now, Instagram’s the best way to keep up with her cut-creases, fiercely winged eyeliner and intensely glowing looks.
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