San Francisco native Courtney Paige Nelson started "Beneath The Beautiful" her own non profit up and running months ago and it's finally ready for the next step, which is putting together a fundraising event for it.

The model created the non profit to inspire people to see scoliosis from more of a beautiful positive perspective. 

Courtney suffered from scoliosis and underwent corrective surgery as a teenager. Her case was so bad that her surgery was free through Shriners Hospital. She didn't have to deal with the funding or waiting lists that many families have to deal with. 

"I created Beneath The Beautiful to give back to people who are less fortunate with the process."

The funds from the non profit will go towards helping fund low income families for their child's scoliosis surgery.

A line of handmade dip dyed/distressed hoodies created by Courtney will soon be up on the non profit's website with all the proceeds going towards the non profit.

For more information on "Beneath The Beautiful", please click on the link below.


Damaged / Goods: What led you to originally pursue a career in modeling?

Courtney Paige Nelson: I always wanted to model or be in front of the camera in some sense. Not for the superficial aspect but to be able to portray a character and express emotion to tell a story through a photograph and/or video. I started late in the game because of set backs from scoliosis surgery and no one in the industry truly taking me seriously. Yet here I am because I've never been known to take no for an answer. 

Damaged: Who would you say is your ultimate fashion inspiration?

Courtney: I'm not sure I have a specific fashion inspiration as much as I have people I admire. One of my style icons that I admire would be Joan Jet. Another being Stevie Nicks. 

Damaged: Favorite fashion brands?

Courtney: Without a doubt Gucci. Their new creative direction they have taken in the past year has kept me in awe of their clothing collections and print ads. I am obsessed. I'd say any clothing company that takes me back to the 70's and/or 90's grunge era is a favorite.  

Damaged: In terms of music, who are your top artists of the moment?

Courtney: Since I firmly believe I grew up in the wrong generation, my favorite bands happen to be Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin. In terms of music that's current, I've been listening to this new band that I discovered on Spotify called Cigarettes After Sex. 

Whats your damage? 

Courtney: I was diagnosed with scoliosis right before I turned 10. For years I hid under oversized baggy sweatshirts because of the deformity that I carried with me. Eventually my spine curvature had progressed severely leaving my rib bones to push on my heart and lungs. I had to get breathing treatments and couldn't do physical activity. When I was 15 I had corrective surgery. They took half of my right hip to use as bone graft to fuse 13 vertebrae along with 2 titanium rods going from the top to the bottom of my spine. I went through an almost 2 month hospital stay and months of learning to walk and be normal again. I finally bought my first bathing suit a year later when I was 16 and haven't looked back sense! It's important for me to keep pushing forward in the industry and making a household name for myself. I want nothing more then to show people that no matter the physical disability you can still amount to what you want to achieve in life. Through all the "no's" and "next's" in the industry I've still managed to keep pushing myself forward. I feel eventually people will see past the scar when I walk into an agency or a casting and realize I'm not taking no for an answer because I have something to prove.. not just for myself, but for other people who feel the effects of the box that is the beauty industry. Once you become confident within your flaws, you have nothing to make you feel inadequate. 

Photography @anttman
Model @courtneypaigenelson with @beneath_the_beautiful
Styling @sofia___________
Hair & Makeup @delaluna