Rebekah Marine was told that she'd never be a model because she was born without a right forearm - now she's set to hit the runway at New York Fashion Week.
The 28-year-old, who describes herself as a “bionic model” made her NYFW debut for FTL Moda in February and will walk for the designers again on September 13.
She had her high-tech prosthetic hand fitted six years ago and credits the cutting-edge technology with giving her the confidence to pursue a modelling career.
February's NYFW shows were defined by disability diversity firsts, including a model with Down's syndrome and a runway star with the skin condition vitiligo.
Thankfully, this increasingly inclusive attitude appears to be more than a passing trend.
Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old model with Down's syndrome, will appear at NYFW this month, while modelling agency IMG recently announced that it has signed Jillian Mercado, a 28-year-old American model with spastic muscular dystrophy.
Marine told Mashable: “It's so important to include more diverse models, because after all, nearly one in five people in America have a disability. We should be celebrating uniqueness, not conforming to what the media thinks is beautiful.”
While her career has blossomed since her first booking on a bridal photo shoot, she says that most agencies still “won't even look at her portfolio”.
Hopefully that will change if the fashion industry continues to embrace disability.