5 questions for Rebekah Marine
Born without a forearm, Rebekah Marine has defied convention by taking the fashion industry by storm. This Is MedTech caught up with the ‘bionic model’ fresh from her second turn on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
How big a thrill is it to work New York Fashion Week?
I can’t even describe the craziness that goes on behind the scenes. I get butterflies just thinking about it. It’s such a thrill to be a part of one of the biggest fashion shows in the world.
You were once told you would never make it in fashion. Do you think attitudes are changing in the industry and in society?
I think society has been making huge strides over the past few years. Although I still believe we have a long ride ahead of us, there has been so much change since I was a kid. The industry…that’s a tough one, because I know the industry wants to make a change, but no one is quite taking that plunge and really including models who don’t fit the stereotype. One day I hope to be considered just a model as opposed to the ‘disabled model’, but that’s the reality I’m living in. I’ve found a niche in the business and I’ll take it.
When did you get your first prosthesis?
I had a body-powered prosthesis when I was very young but quickly gave up on it when I was about seven years old because it proved to be too difficult for me. That was the last time I would use a prosthesis until I turned 22 when I opted to get a myoelectric prosthesis. That, too, frustrated me and was too difficult to use. Then in January 2015, I received the i-limb.
Your current arm is even more high-tech. how has it changed your life?
It has made a world of difference in my life. I absolutely love it because it really helps me with day-to-day tasks – holding a cup, picking up small objects, folding laundry and so on. The technology is absolutely incredible. The ability to move the individual fingers allows me to tackle even the smallest of tasks, like cutting vegetables.
What are you plans for the future?
I hope to continue modelling, but above all, I want to continue to be an inspiration to kids all over the world who may face similar challenges in life.