Paralympian, Actress, Model Aimee Mullins Defies Disability Stereotypes

Esquire’s “Women We Love”, Jane Magazine’s “10 Gutsiest Women”, Sports Illustrated’s “Coolest Girls in Sports”, Rolling Stone’s Hot List “Hottest Muse”, “Great American Women of the 20th Century” and now a L’Oreal Spokesperson for “Because You’re Worth It,” Aimee Mullins, a 35 year old living in New York, has accomplished so many things. A Paralympian, actress, and model, Aimee has opened the gateway for many changes to come, but that is not the entire story. Let’s start from the beginning.

Aimee Mullins was born in 1976 with a birth defect called Fibular Hemimelia. This basically means she was born with no fibula bone in either of her legs. After having both of her legs amputated below the knee on her first birthday, Aimee was able to learn to walk with prosthetic legs by the time she was two. Able to run along the side of other children with no disabilities, she triumphed over any doubts given of her not being able to walk or being in a wheelchair.

Amiee enjoyed her studies at school. After graduating with honors from high school, Aimee was picked as one of the 3 students in the United States chosen for a full scholarship for the Department of Defense. At age 17 she became the youngest person to hold a top secret security clearance at the Pentagon. On her summer breaks, Aimee was able to work as an intelligence analyst.

493273639_e739e1cf56

It was at this point where Aimee rediscovered her true passion in competitive sports. In 1996 she became the first woman with a disability to compete in the NCAA and on Georgetown’s nationally ranked division 1 track team at the Atlanta Games. She used woven carbon fiber prostheses that were designed to mimic cheetah’s hind legs. She set many new records and had an extreme amount of interest in those prototype sprinting legs.

Aimee now was in the public eye and started receiving magazine spots and invitations to speak at international design conferences. Aimee then became involved in issues dealing with body image and how fashion was being advertised and portrayed. In 1999 Aimee became the first woman to walk the cat walk with a disability. This was now turning heads and things were opening up. After all this, People’s Magazine named her one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in The World”.

This is a dream come true. Not just for Aimee, but for many of people around the world. There is no limit to what you can do. Keep reaching for the stars and you can do just what Aimee Mullins has done. Believe in yourself. Things are changing, and the “normal” image is going to have a new look. In the video below Aimee describes looking up the word disabled for the very first time, The thesaurus might equate “disabled” with synonyms like “useless” and “mutilated,” but Aimee Mullins is out to redefine the word. Defying these associations, she shows how adversity can actually opens the door for human potential.