Fast-paced and incredibly competitive, finding a successful career in the modeling world is extremely difficult. This can be especially true for persons with disabilities, and until recently, it was very uncommon to see a model with a disability walking the runway. Choosing not to let her disability define her, Rebekah Marine has transformed her prosthetic arm into a unique accessory on her rise to fame as the “bionic model.”
As a dedicated advocate for persons with disabilities, NMEDA is proud to share Rebekah’s story of overcoming challenges to redefine what it means to live with a disability. With a resilient spirit and unbreakable confidence, Rebekah has become an inspiration to people everywhere, recently walking in the prestigious New York Fashion Week.
Rebekah Marine’s Story
Rebekah Marine was born without her right forearm. With an interest in modeling from a young age, she was repeatedly turned down by agencies once casting directors noted her disability. This greatly affected her self-confidence as a child and she began to shy away from the camera. It wasn’t until she received a prosthetic arm at the age of 22 that she regained her confidence. She was fitted for an i-limb quantum prosthetic and soon found her new accessory to be her statement piece.
She quickly became noticed by FLT Moda and was asked to walk in their New York Fashion Week show. Rebekah was all over the media following her debut in the fashion show. She was beautiful and diverse making her success skyrocket. She was later called for a shoot with Nordstrom and has been published in numerous magazines including TIME, People Magazine, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, Daily News and many more.
Today Rebekah is an ambassador for the Lucky Fin Project, which is a non-profit organization that supports those with upper limb differences. She travels the country and speaks to young girls who were also born with the same condition and mentors them on celebrating their uniqueness and not conforming to what the media thinks is “beautiful.” She is also an ambassador for Touch Bionics, which is the very company that fitted her with the prosthetic arm she is recognized for today.
Determined to change the world’s perception of prosthetics and limb loss, as well as what it is like to live with a disability, Rebekah continues to model and hopes to be an inspiration for young girls across the globe. Whether it is by accomplishing something others said would be near impossible, or overcoming mobility challenges through the use of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, discovering your independence and confidence is possible for all those living with disabilities. Not only has Rebekah accomplished her dream, but she has also diversified the modeling world and opened up the possibility for future models with disabilities.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate of mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible van, car or truck, please consider one of our Quality Assurance Program mobility equipment dealers.