A model with serious leg injuries took to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit runway in a wheelchair in a positive move for diversity by the brand.
Djaniel Carter, from Arizona, suffered the injuries after years as a professional dancer, and has been battling a condition that makes it difficult for her to walk and stand.
But that didnt stop her from taking centre stage – and she was wheeled down the runway by the publications editor, MJ Day.
Judging by the pictures, she loved every second of it.
Sporting a red, striped bikini, Djaniel danced with her arms above her head, her legs slung over the side of the wheelchair – beaming every second. At the end of the runway she briefly stood to strike a quick pose for photographers before returning to her chair.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shared the incredible moment in a clip on Instagram – and fans have been commenting with messages of praise and support.
After several years as a professional dancer, @djaniiel sustained traumatic injuries to both of her legs and has been battling an underlying medical condition that has yet to be diagnosed, read the caption.
Despite the fact that she has a weakened ability to walk and stand, she has not let that stop her from pursing [sic] her dreams.
The video clip has since amassed more than 100,000 views and dozens of comments, with many people calling the model inspirational.
Images from the event show that Djaniel was wheeled down the catwalk a second time, this time wearing a chic, cut-out one piece in all white.
This is amazing and beyond inspiring. Thank you @si_swimsuit and @mj_day for constantly giving that runway the gift of diversity and all of us the empowerment to embrace our unique, said one Instagram user.
Another said: Truly beautiful woman! Inspirational is an understatement!
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model Raine Michaels said: This. Is. Everything. @djaniiel you are amazing.
Despite the messages of positivity, a small number of people left cruel comments calling the model a fraud because she was able to stand at the end of the runway.
But Djaniel was quick to call out the critics and remind them that disability comes in many different forms.
I already got called a “FRAUD” I am going to open up about my story and about what my body goes through you dont know me, she wrote on Instagram in response.
She shared behind-the-scenes images from the showRead More – Source