My journey as a (disabled) model
When I got the opportunity to write this article, I honestly didn’t know where to start. I have struggled as a congenital amputee for over 25 years, and trying to find the right words to convey that struggle to my audience “stumped” me for days (pun intended). I’ve spent my entire life living it as normally as humanly possible. I went to a public school, graduated from college, got a job — I did it all. Being born without a right hand, however, was far from normal to my standards.
It wasn’t until I turned 24 that I realized that the insecurities I felt for so long were preventing me from doing the things I love. Modeling was just one of those things I thought I could never do, but always wanted to get into. The modeling industry is one of the most competitive trades in the world. It is filled with millions of beautiful people, and for a while I thought, “I don’t stand a chance.”
Sometimes we spend so much time trying to cover up our insecurities that we lose ourselves in them. In a world that magnifies perfection, beauty, wealth and power, it can be difficult to accept the things we cannot change. It was difficult for me. We all doubt ourselves at one point or another, but it’s how you overcome that doubt that makes you stronger. I never imagined that after my photo shoot in Germany I’d have so much support and encouragement for what I was doing. It was at that point I realized I could turn my “disadvantage” into an advantage — to speak to people through my work about embracing life’s little shortcomings.
I hope one day I will be able to model full time and talk to people about my journeys. Through my Facebook fan page and Model Mayhem profile I’ve been able to reach out and speak to people all over the world. I feel very lucky to be able to turn something I thought was hindering me into something I can inspire so many people with. A blessing in disguise, if you will.
This won’t be the last time you hear of me, I promise.