Amputee Brian Taylor Urruela and Model Rebekah Marine Posed for an Empowering Photo Shoot

Source: Csaw Studios

In a series of photographs released exclusively by People, model Rebekah Marine, who was born without a right forearm, and amputee Iraq war veteran Brian Taylor Urruela, posed together in an effort to, according to Marine, empower "people who may not see the brighter side of the cards they were dealt." 

"I was born without an arm and [he] lost his leg so we both have different reasons for limb-loss," Marine, 28, who calls herself the "bionic model," told People. "It's really cool for our paths to cross and come together to create these strong photos and empowering photos." 

Source: Csaw Studios
Source: Csaw Studios
Source: Csaw Studios

A photo posted by (@) on

The images, taken by Steve Woods of Csaw Studios showing the two meeting for the first time, actively challenge the way society views people with disabilities: Urruela is depicted topless and ruggedly handsome, and Marine wears a flowing, feminine white dress. 

"It's really about opening up the dialogue about disabilities, it's to stop hiding the disability," Urruela, 29, told People. "It's to stop being ashamed of it and to own it, and I think that's what Rebekah and I both do."

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

Fashion and prosthetics: Marine is an ambassador for the Lucky Fin Project, which helps people with upper limb differences, and Touch Bionics, the makers of her own prosthetic. She most recently walked in the FTL Moda show during New York Fashion Week; Urruela has taken up modeling as well, posing for several romance novel covers. 

Their work in fashion speaks to the industry's increasing representation of people with disabilities, with designers displaying a particular interest in the field of prosthetics. As Mic previously reported, designers and artists are banding together to create 3D-printed and custom works of art that can cover a prosthetic, which will have the power to shift the conversation from "What happened to you?" to "Wow, where did you get that?" 

Marine at the FTL Moda show
Source: 
TREVOR COLLENS/Getty Images

By doing the photo shoot, Marine and Urruela aim to help normalize people with limb loss and prove that people with disabilities can live full lives regardless of their physical limitations. 

"I had to go from being a 21-year-old who could do anything to a 29-year-old now missing a limb and a beat-up leg, so for us I think it's about the empowerment aspect of it," Urruela said. "It's about the fact that, you know, yes we're different. Yes, this is something that makes me different from you, but I'm still human." 

h/t People

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Rachel Lubitz

Rachel is a senior Style writer at Mic. She previously worked for The Washington Post's Style section for more than three years. Feel free to contact her at rachel@mic.com.

MORE FROM

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.