An Indonesian girl lost her leg and for a long time thought that she would have to say goodbye to her modeling career.
Three years have passed since then, and now she participates in photo shoots and performs at one of the largest shows in Southeast Asia, as well as inspiring other models and showing that even with a disability, you can achieve a lot.
Rosalina Octavia had wanted to be a model since she was a teenager. In 2010, she was involved in an accident, after which her left leg partially lost mobility. The girl could still walk and even participated in fashion shows. Three years ago, she decided to have surgery to fix her leg problems. The girl hoped that she would be able to run fully and do physical exercises.
Due to a medical error, everything went wrong: after the operation, the leg did not heal for so long that gangrene formed. Specialists from another hospital said that it will have to be amputated. The torment had become unbearable by this time, and Rosalina gave her consent.
I remember how I felt right after the amputation. My whole world fell apart. No one should have to deal with this kind of trauma.
The next four months were spent learning to walk with the help of a prosthesis. But when she appeared on the street, she was ashamed of the way many passers-by looked at her prosthetic leg and hesitant gait. In the end Rosalina decided to get it over with: she didn’t want to be among those who thought that “life is over” for a disabled person, and that people like her needed to be seen less. The attitude of society towards disabled people is a complex topic: even the question of whether it is possible to joke about them has greatly divided opinions on the Internet. But the excessive curiosity of strangers is unpleasant to anyone.
In 2017, Rosalina married thirty-year-old don Kasunyit, and together they moved to Singapore, where people with disabilities do not face as much prejudice as in Indonesia. The girl had a job as an assistant in a clinic, but soon she decided to resume her career as a model, which she so longed for.
In Singapore, people didn’t stare at me all the time, but sometimes people would come up and ask me what was wrong. I always like it better when a person asks, rather than when they just decide to stare at me. I followed American and European models with amputated limbs on the Internet, and I thought about what prevents me from showing the world the beauty that I have, as they do.
Don, Rosalina’s husband, is a photographer. He helped his wife start creating a new model portfolio. The couple decided to challenge the taboo and not be afraid to show the prosthesis in photos. Soon the girl was noticed by a professional photographer and helped her arrange the first shots without a prosthesis.
After that, Rosalina was filmed in the city and in nature, in sportswear, dresses and underwear. Three months ago, she was invited to the runway of the Singapore fashion show — the largest in This country and one of the largest in the region.
For her performance, Rosalina used a model of a prosthetic made in the shape of a real leg. In the photos from the display, the difference is almost invisible, but in the video, the artificiality of the prosthesis can only be noticed when it is in motion.
After the speech, Rosalina was invited to become an Ambassador of the “Models of diversity” movement, which promotes the representation of models with different characteristics, including those with disabilities, in the fashion and beauty industry. The girl gladly agreed.
My modeling career has helped me love my body and accept myself. I know that it can also give other disabled people hope and courage.
Rosalina also runs her own YouTube channel.