28-year-old Rebekah Marine is a stunningly beautiful model. She's shot with Nordstrom, she walked in New York Fashion Week this past February, and she'll be walking again this fall in the FTL Moda show. She also has an i-limb quantum prosthetic hand.
Rebekah was born without a right forearm. She gave up on her dreams of being a model at a young age, always hearing she wouldn't make it. So she went to school and focused on working. That is, until about four years ago, when she was fit for a prosthesis and decided to take up modeling.
When others said her disability was a dealbreaker, Rebekah decided that wasn't good enough, and set out to prove them wrong. Since then, she's been inspiring others with her blooming career and inspirational journey. "Being a model with a disability has been extremely difficult over the past could years," she said to Mashable. "Agencies often won't even look at my portfolio. But I've come to realize it's all about finding your niche. I've accepted that most clients may not want to work with me based on my 'disability.'"
But being differently-abled is not a hinderance for Rebekah, but a source of power and strength. And you know what? We're confident she's going to slay the upcoming NYFW show, because beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.
The model's message of finding your niche rings true for all people, in any situation. There's always going to be someone who says "no" and who isn't in your corner. But keep searching for the ones who genuinely appreciate you for being you—your people who just get you—and it'll all be worth it.
But wait! The story gets even cooler. Alongside Rebekah in the FTL Moda show will be Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old model with Down syndrome. High five for celebrating diversity, FTL Moda! The brand has a history of supporting models of all types. This past February, they featured a model with a crutch, one with a prosthetic leg, as well as models in wheelchairs.
"It's so important to include more diverse models, because after all, nearly one in five people in America have a disability," Rebekah continued. "We should be celebrating uniqueness, not conforming to what the media thinks is beautiful."
Right on, Rebekah. We can't wait to celebrate your walk down the runway.
(Featured image via Instagram)