America’s Next Top Model contestant Bello Sanchez poses for Katya Tsyganova in a new fashion story shot on location of Hermosa Beach.
Bello was on the 22nd season of America’s Next Top Model and has so far been the only androgynous male contestant to ever compete on the show. He is currently a fashion writer for Us Weekly magazine.
America’s Next Top Model contestant Bello Sanchez always got noticed for his striking crystal blue eyes, but the attention wasn’t always positive.
“I got bullied a lot,” the Cycle 22 contestant, 26, tells PEOPLE. “I was always teased – even by family members – not just because of my eyes, but because of how I looked, how I walked, how I talked. Being androgynous, I always looked ‘too pretty’ to be boy.”
Not deterred by his critics, Sanchez moved to Los Angeles at 19 years old to pursue modeling, with only $200 and nowhere to go. He ended up living in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles.
“The house was so filthy that the carpet had maggots,” says Sanchez. “I would not be able to sleep a full eight hours because the flies would wake me. I couldn’t take a shower in there either because the bathtub would have maggots. I would have to sneak into high schools in the neighborhood and pretend to be a student [to shower there].”
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