This Inspiring Model Will Walk the Fashion Week Runway with a Bionic Arm

Rebekah Marine was born without a right forearm, but she won't let that hold her back.

Rebekah Marine
(Image credit: Rebekah Marine/Facebook)

Model Rebekah Marine is set to take the fashion world by storm, and she's got some high-tech help. She'll be walking during New York Fashion Week while wearing a bionic arm, and she's using it to make a serious statement about acceptance for people with disabilities.

Born without a right forearm, Marine was initially turned down by modeling agencies. "Hearing the words 'You'll never have a future in the business' really hit me hard," she told People (opens in new tab)

But when she was 22, she decided to try out a myoelectric prosthesis (opens in new tab), which can detect nerve signals from the brain to help mimic the movements of a limb. This can help people like Marine manipulate small objects like cosmetics or credit cards in a way that she couldn't with a less advance prosthesis. After she was fitted for her "bionic arm," her friend suggested she model with it, and her career was born. 

Marine, now 28, is a working model represented by Models of Diversity and an advocate for those with upper limb differences. She'll walk during a FTL Moda fashion show at New York's Grand Central Station. (FTL Moda is known for hiring models with disabilities; Marine joined several other models with disabilities during the designer's February show (opens in new tab).) 

During this season's New York Fashion Week, she'll be showing off the i-limb quantum, one of the most advanced prosthetic hands on the market today, Mashable reports. She serves as a spokesperson for the manufacturer, Touch Bionics. Here's Marine showing off an older model:

Though Marine says she still gets turned away from modeling gigs all the time because of her disability, she refuses to let that stop her from achieving her dreams.

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Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.