Intersex supermodel seeks to break stigma

A Belgian fashion model has revealed she is intersex in an attempt to "break the taboo" on the condition, and warn parents against surgery without their child's consent.

Hanne Gaby Odiele has Adrogen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), which means she has some male chromosomes which resulted in her being born with undescended testes.

When she turned 10, her parents opted to have them removed and refused to tell Odiele why she had undertaken surgery until she pushed them for answers several years later.

At age 18, she received vaginal reconstruction surgery which she said left her in agony. In one of two Instagram videos posted on her account, she explains she wishes neither surgery was carried out.

"I'm excited to let the world know I'm intersex," she says in the first video.

"I've been subjected to irreversible, unconsented and unnecessary surgeries that have caused way more harm than good."

About one-in-50 people in the world is born with AIS - about the same proportion of the Earth's population that has red hair.

In Odiele's second video, posted a day ago, she gives advice to people with the condition, telling them to embrace their uniqueness and see it only as a characteristic, rather than their entire identity.

She also urges doctors and parents to let intersex children decide what they want to do with their bodies, and wait until a child is old enough to work out the consequences before carrying out surgeries.

Odiele's videos have proven popular, receiving nearly 200,000 views on Instagram alone, and she has since spoken to Vogue Magazine about the experience of coming out as intersex.