In the honor of Black History Month, Google Doodle celebrated Mama Cax, a Haitian-American model, who made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week on February 8, 2019.
“In honor of Black History Month, today’s Doodle celebrates Haitian American model and disability rights advocate Mama Cax. Illustrated by Brooklyn-based guest artist Lyne Lucien, Mama Cax is best known for shattering expectations around beauty. The model and advocate proudly strutted down catwalks on her prosthetic leg, often designed with colors and patterns,” Google Doodles explained.
Who is Mama Cax?
A queen. A force. A powerhouse beauty that brought her strength to the @savagexfenty stage this year inspiring so many across the globe. Rest In Power sis ✊🏿😢 @mama_cax pic.twitter.com/Nq43DoJZb9
— Rihanna (@rihanna) December 20, 2019
Cacsmy Brutus, who later became famous as Mama Cax, was best known for advocating for disability rights and modeling with her prosthetic right leg. She was born on November 20, 1989, in Brooklyn, New York City but she went on to spend most of her childhood in Haiti. At the age of 14, she was also diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare kind of bone cancer, and lung cancer.
In a 2019 interview with MSNBC, Cax broke down after her leg was amputated. She was also diagnosed with depression. “I was ashamed of how I looked. I didn’t want anyone to know I had a prosthetic leg because eventually the question of, ‘What happened?’ would come out. Imagine if every encounter would be recounting my story, every single day, multiple times a day,” she reportedly said.
Her first modeling gig happened with the beauty company Wet ‘n Wild in 2017 for a commercial campaign. She was later signed by JAG Models. But her path to being recognized as a model was not easy as she had to face multiple rejections on the way. “There were definitely places that told me they weren’t interested, or there was no answer, or that I would not be easy to cast for a job, or that I did not look like the average model,” Cax told Here Magazine at that time.
She did manage to climb up the ladder of success in her career eventually going on to model for high-end labels including Tommy Hilfiger, ASOS, Olay, and Savage x Fenty. She also appeared alongside fellow disability rights activists and models Jillian Mercado and Chelsea Werner on the cover of Teen Vogue in 2018. Her biggest fashion moment came when she walked down the runway for Chromat’s Spring 2019 fashion show. Her perforated prosthetic leg was covered in blue lights. Her biggest fashion moment was when she walked down the runway for Chromat’s Spring 2019 fashion show wearing a perforated prosthetic leg covered in blue lights.
Unfortunately, on December 16, 2019, Cax died after doctors discovered blood clots in her lungs when she was 30. Several celebrities, including rapper Rihanna paid tribute to Cax upon her death, writing on Twitter, “A queen. A force. A powerhouse beauty that brought her strength to the @savagexfenty stage this year inspiring so many across the globe. Rest In Power sis.”