This month we feature model and advocate, Rebekah Marine.
Born without a right forearm, Rebekah Marine is about to walk in New York Fashion Week. The 28-year-old model will appear in the FTL Moda show on September 13th, sporting her i-limb quantum prosthetic hand.
"It's been quite a journey for me. It was hard at first to put myself out there for the whole world to see, but I've become quite comfortable with myself now, and I'm the happiest I've ever been."
Marine initially gave up her dream of becoming a model after being turned down by several agencies as a kid. She recalled those days to PEOPLE Magazine in a recent interview.
"It didn't go very well, of course, when casting directors noticed my disability," she said of the times her mother would take her to agencies in New York City from their home in Woodbury, New Jersey. "Hearing the words 'You'll never have a future in the business,' really hit me hard."
Marine became self-conscious about her arm and would often shy away from photos. But when she received the prosthesis six years ago, she decided to take matters into her own hands, "Although I had a body-powered arm in elementary school, I gave up on it when it proved to be too difficult," says Marine. "The technology in my i-limb quantum really made my day-to-day life easier."
That newfound confidence and ease – along with support from an encouraging friend – was all it took for Marine to jumpstart her dream career. In just a few months, she was booked in a small bridal photo shoot. "I was blown away that I could be taken seriously in this industry, and be successful at it."
But despite her success, the model still experiences hardships in the industry. She says she was recently turned down by an agency. "I thought my portfolio was strong, and I had a good message behind it, but they quickly passed on me," she says. "My image isn't for everyone; I've accepted that."