Amputee Bernadette Hagans, new face of major fashion campaign, show how to break stereotypes
Bernadette Hagans, a 24-year-old model, recently became part of fashion designer Kurt Geiger’s new campaign ‘The People Empowered’. Hagans, who hails from Ireland, is an amputee. She aims to show that disability is no barrier to having a dream.
For 24-year-old Bernadette Hagans, an amputation early in life and its aftermath was not a cakewalk. But she overcame all that with determination and courage to choose what she loves doing best and modelling it is. Hagans, who got her right leg amputated in the year 2018 has been chosen as the new face for fashion designer Kurt Geiger’s ‘The People Empowered’ campaign that is gathering attention on social media. Hagans shows how to stay head strong with a determined mind and not to settle for anything lesser than the stars!
An empowered young woman
Based at Belfast in Northern Ireland, Hagans was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a form of cancer due to which she had to amputate her right leg at the age of 22 years. Being someone who always loved fashion and modelling, Hagans was not ready to give up her passion. With the support of her family and friends, this youngster bounced back to life.
She uses a prosthetic limb to walk now and is making the best out of it. She regularly changes color of her prosthetic leg and uses a car wrapping service to get the job done! Hagans, who has over 12,000 fans on Instagram is indeed a social media star as well.
Zebedee Management, a company based in the United Kingdom for models with disabilities represents Hagans. Apart from working for a series of ads, Hagans has been a part of Primark and now Kurt Geiger too!
“I loved the photoshoot because we were modelling the product whilst also showing my leg as a part of it”, Hagans told the Independent.
An interesting campaign
‘The People Empowered’ campaign will feature 15 activists and organization leaders in total. Hagans is the first one to be featured and she appeared on Geiger’s Instagram page. “Yes, I got cancer but I was being given a chance to live. Some people just get told they’re terminal. I just kept trying to remember how lucky I am and I think that’s what got me through it”, says the young model.
As part of the campaign, Hagan’s photograph of her wearing a black hoodie, holding a neon quilted bag and platform trainers followed by a couple of other photos from her shoot was applauded. Needless to say, she looks stunning!
Priya Bhargava, a psychologist, is a wheelchair user who won the Miss Wheelchair India 2015 beauty pageant. Someone active in the modelling space, Priya says, “First of all, we need to rectify and justify the definition of model. I believe a model is somebody who could show you to represent yourself in a better way. As there are several sized people, some are specially-abled too. So why can’t we have models from every aspect of life? We should, I believe”.
Appreciating Geiger, she says, “I think it is high time that Indian designers also think about it and act in an inclusive way. It is all about what we want our society to learn. This will not only stop exploitation of models in the industry, but will also change mind sets about modelling”.
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