With no intention of making it this far, I am one of the finalists (and winner for female “Best Photo”) in my category for ModelHunt, the world’s first and only modeling search to have the most diverse categories of models. My category is PWD (People with Disability), or as better categorized by Errol Isip, the Executive Producer & Mentor of ModelHunt, “People with Determination”.
By no means do I consider myself a model by the fashion industry’s standards, but I do believe I represent the “everyday woman with a disability” model. I decided to enter the competition for a few reasons.
One reason was to try something fun, new, and out of my comfort zone. My life is consumed by work, therapy, and simply trying to survive the day. My teenage daughter encouraged me to do it, and to not let her down, I agreed. I’m happy she did, because the event will be an evening of glamour and celebration we can enjoy together. I also have the opportunity to invite my girlfriends, who share my love for fashion and are extremely supportive of me. It will be so fun to have our own fashionable “Sex In the City” night out!
The second and most important reason I decided to participate was because I wanted to be a voice, and an image of courage and beauty for women who have a disability and are afraid to be seen. I want to encourage them to own their bodies and be proud of their unique beauty. We need to stop hiding from society. I’ll be honest, I almost let my own self doubt stop me from participating in this revolutionary event. However, instead of rolling out the audition doors, I was determined to see this thing through. I chose to take my fear and turn it into power, to be fearless, and to bring about change.
Although it’s a modeling competition, I see it as an opportunity for the models in my PWD category to unite and make a difference by breaking through barriers in the fashion, modeling, and beauty industry! This is such an exciting time to be seen and to be part of this inclusive movement that’s opening doors. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be supported by amazing mentors at ModelHunt, and to represent this beautiful group of people on this diverse platform. I hope to encourage others to be confident and to accept their beauty.
Winning or losing the competition doesn’t matter to me. I entered to overcome my own personal challenges, to do something fashionably fun, and to empower others to do the same.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this event and came to see us rock the runway! I hope that in some way we are helping change society’s perception of beauty and disability.
Cynthia Ramirez is a fashion and beauty editor for PUSHLiving.com, as well as a PUSHLiving Photo model. Please see her other articles here:
- ModelHunt Winner! The World’s First and Only Diverse Modeling Search - July 30, 2019
- “Spring is here. We are all flowers blooming at our own pace” - March 31, 2019
- HOLIDAY FASHION FAVORITES – POWER SUITS. POWER LIPS. POWER PLAYS. - December 18, 2017
- Product Review: Glidewear Woman’s Skin Protection Shorts - November 2, 2017
- Indego Walking Device – How I Fell Apart and I Survived - September 27, 2017
- C’NOTES Must Haves: Glamour, Beauty Tips and Advice, Fashion and Adaptive Clothing - June 15, 2017
- Support Inclusivity & Diversity and Disabled Owned Business - May 16, 2017
- Disabled Girls Can Be Sexy; Don’t Count Us Out of The Game - May 1, 2017
- Introducting: “C’ NOTES” Now in Beauty & Fashion - February 4, 2017