Model With Muscular Dystrophy Is the Hot Sauce Beyonce Needed in New Ad Campaign


Beyonce, like many of us, is a fan of cheeky sweatshirts, hot sauce, and inclusivity in the fashion industry. But unlike the rest of us, she's scary and scary successful, so when she decides to do something about these things, she can. And she does. And she wins. We're talking, of course, about Jillian Mercado, the Latina woman with muscular dystrophy that Beyonce just chose to model some of the clothes on Beyonce dot com.


Mercado was signed to IMG last August, but she's been out and about in the modeling world since 2014 -- first with a campaign for Diesel Jeans, and after with an anniversary catalogue at Nordstrom.

But then Beyonce called, and how do you say no to that?

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Here are some of her photos from the campaign:

The best part is the casual use of Mercado -- this isn't a campaign intentionally highlighting disabled people (although we love those, too, and think everyone should keep doing them). But here, Mercado's just another model. She's making diversity the norm, not an occasion. And that's amazing. That's the direction everyone needs to be heading.

Although Mercado unarguably made a name for herself in the business before Bey came along, it's still ultimately down to people like Beyonce to use their massive platforms to amplify stories from people like Mercado.

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When Beyonce talks, people listen. So we're hoping that when Bey says "diversity," other brands take note, because it's time to show people that being a model and the face of our media doesn't mean having a size two waist, white skin, four limbs, and a long strut. Wheels are cool, too.

In 2015, after her campaign with Diesel came out, Mercado told the Wall Street Journal that it was hard to picture herself as a model. "Growing up I didn't think of [modeling] as being a possibility, and I was a little scared about throwing myself into it," she said. "When I was younger, I didn't see anyone out there like me doing this very thing."

We're just glad that Mercado had the brains, the guts, and the facial structure to pursue it. Where would we be without people like her?


Images via

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