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Model With Prosthetic Arm Is Proving All Her Haters Wrong

As a child, Shaholly Ayers wasn't allowed to participate in gym class. When she was a teen, coaches said she couldn't be on the basketball team. In college, she tried to find work as a model, but again the answer was "no." Ayers told TODAY Style:

I talked to one of the agents. And she told me, "There's no way you're going to be a model because you don't have two arms." I tried to explain — I have a prosthesis, I can wear that — really trying to sell it. 

Ayers overcame bullying and exclusion with persistence and a dream:


After agencies turned her down, Ayers started her modeling career without an agent, building her portfolio locally. Her hard work paid off, and in 2015 she walked in the New York Fashion Week. She has appeared in the Nordstrom catalog three times.

I'm comfortable wearing my prosthesis or not wearing it, but what I've found is that (directors) are really understanding. They want to be as true about it as possible. They say, 'Would you wear a prosthesis with this, yes or no?' For the first Nordstrom catalog, I was wearing a long coat. I don't think (the prosthesis) even fit under that. With activewear, I wear the prosthesis every time.

Agents said her arm would keep her from a modeling career, but Ayers persisted:

Ayers is hopeful for the future of people with disabilities in mainstream media.

When I was a child, it was really difficult. We didn't have amputees like Amy Purdy on Dancing With the Stars or people with disabilities on TV at all. In the past five years, I've seen a big shift…to be more inclusive for people with disabilities. We do change lives for children, and hopefully we're educating people.

Check out her Instagram for some of her modeling work: 

H/T: Self, Today, Instagram, Orlando Sentinel, The Mighty