VIDEO: #BreakingBeauty with Mama Cāx * 2024
VIDEO: #BreakingBeauty with Mama Cāx * 2024

Google honored Cacsmy Brutus, aka Mama Cax

On 8th February 2023, via its Google Doodle. Cax was a beauty industry pioneer who modeled on her prosthetic leg, showing that people with disabilities belonged in the fashion industry. Google writes.

She began posting regularly and advocating for inclusivity in fashion and using social media to discuss inclusivity in fashion, and using social media to discuss her body insecurities. She officially broke into the fashion industry as a model in an advertising campaign in 2017 and was signed by Jag Models shortly after.

Cax was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer aged 14

She fought bravely, conquering the diseases. However, her hip was damaged beyond repair, necessitating a replacement hip. Cax rejected the hip, forcing surgeons to amputate her right leg.

She said, “I can still remember the very first time I woke up from surgery, I literally just broke down. And I think at that point I refused to look at my body for a good couple of weeks.”

Cax told the outlet that he was ashamed of her looks. She covered her prosthetic leg with long clothes or sought prosthetics that matched her skin tone – anything to avoid inquisitive stares. 

After years of hiding, Cax decided to embrace her disability. She stopped hiding and collaborated with Alleles to make stylish covers for prosthetics. The move did wonders for her mental health and improved her relations with people.

Cax wrote: “And from that point, I started to feel a shift in attitude and in how I treated myself. People no longer saw someone who was trying to hide. They saw someone who had pride. The inappropriate and intrusive questions stopped.”

The move ignited Cax’s body positivity journey. She started wearing bold makeup and experimenting with different colors. Cax began blogging and posting social media content to inspire people with disabilities to take pride in their appearances.

She told The New York Times

“I didn’t see body appreciation being shown to people with disabilities or people with scars, so I started sharing my story on Instagram. I was sharing for women who don’t see themselves as beautiful and don’t see their bodies celebrated.”

Cax made an indelible impact on the fashion industry: she changed people’s perceptions of beauty, demonstrating that disabled people belonged on the most glamorous fashion shows and catwalks.

The statement announcing her death read

“As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life’s several challenges head on and successfully.”

While in England in 16 December 2019, Cax was hospitalized at the Royal London Hospital for severe abdominal pains and blood clots in the lung, which were later confirmed as a pulmonary embolism in hospital.

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Biography of Mama Cax

Cacsmy Brutus, known as Mama Cax, was a Haitian American model and disability rights activist. With her prosthetic right leg, Cax was an unconventional figure in modern fashion modelling.

Was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on November 20, 1989. She grew up in Haiti, and at age 14, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and lung cancer, doctors gave her three weeks to live.  Two years later, she received a hip replacement which failed, leading to the amputation of her right leg. She later said that it took several years to regain her confidence and that she hid her prosthetic leg for several years. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations. At age 18, Cax learned to play wheelchair basketball.

Life in modeling

On September 15, 2016, Cax was invited to the White House to participate in a fashion show put on by Barack and Michelle Obama. At that time, she was working in the office of the Mayor of New York City with Dhiren Raja while finishing her studies.

In 2017, Cax appeared in her first commercial advertisement, and soon signed with the modelling agency JAG Models in New York. Among her appearances, she walked the runway in shows for Chromat and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. Her later commercial work included ad campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Sephora.

She walked at New York Fashion Week in 2018, parading in a swimsuit designed by Becca McCharen, who seeks to change the “standards of beauty”. That year, she made the cover of Teen Vogue with Jillian Mercado and Chelsea Werner.

In 2019, Cax became the face of the Olay brand for their sunscreen marketing campaign. In October 2019, Cax announced she would be participating in the New York Marathon in a wheelchair.

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