Last year, 19-year-old Reshma Qureshi went viral for her ridiculously empowering videos raising awareness about the frequency of acid attacks in India. Now, she's taking that same empowering message straight to the runway at New York Fashion Week.
On Thursday, Reshma opened the show for Indian designer Archana Kochhar, looking absolutely stunning in a white floor-length dress with colorful, patterned panels and a delicate silver headpiece.
"This walk was important to me because there are so many girls like me who are survivors of acid attacks, and this will give them courage," Reshma said, according to the Associated Press. "And it will also go to show people who judge people based on their appearance that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover—you should look at everyone though the same eyes."
Reshma was the victim of an acid attack in 2014 which caused her to lose her left eye and suffer severe burns to her face. In an interview with the BBC, she said that when she first saw herself after the attack, she began to contemplate suicide—but through her work with charity Make Love Not Scars, she has since found the "courage to live on and to do something."
Later in the day, Reshma also modeled for Vaishali Couture as part of FTL Moda's mission to #TakeBeautyBack, a collaboration with Global Disability Inclusion and Fashion Week Online. Unsurprisingly, she totally stole the show there, too.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams that something like this would happen to me," she said, "and that I would be coming to such a big place to walk on such a big stage."
Additional reporting from The Associated Press.
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