One Texas teenager is proving to the world that nothing can keep her from feeling beautiful and confident — not even cancer.
According to Glamour, after Andrea Sierra Salazar was diagnosed with stage 2 nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma, she underwent chemotherapy, causing her to lose her hair. But her hair loss rocked her confidence at first, the teen told Buzzfeed.
“Before chemotherapy I had always been a confident person,” Salazar said, according to Glamour. “So when my hair started to fall out I would look in the mirror and I wouldn’t feel that confident about myself.”
But, Glamour reports that “Andrea began to devote more time to modeling after her diagnosis, when treatment kept her out of school and she had time to do it … Her mother helped her get in touch with photographers and agencies who wanted to help Andrea remain confident as her treatment continued.”
And soon, Salazar concocted a plan that would aid in maintaining her self-esteem. Glamour says she decided to model in a series of photos built on a simple idea: “Cancer doesn’t stop me me from being a princess.”
Glamour says what ensued were several photos taken by photographer Gerardo Garmendia in which Salazar poses in a stunning turquoise gown and gorgeous makeup — all sans a wig. To date, the photos shared on her Twitter account have over 100,000 retweets and over 200,000 likes.
Telling Buzzfeed of her decision to take the photos, the teen said she hopes these images will serve as inspiration to others in a similar position.
“I see all these little girls, and you can see it in their faces that they lose all confidence in themselves,” she said, according to Glamour. “I want them to know that your hair or your physical attributes doesn’t define who you are—what really matters is your inner beauty, the way you treat others, and if you’re a kind person, that shows through.”