The Google Doodle for today, February 8, celebrated Haitian-American model and disability rights activist Mama Cax in recognition of Black History Month.
The Doodle commemorated Cax’s runway debut at New York Fashion Week in 2019.
Who was Mama Cax?
Mama Cax, whose real name is Cacsmy Brutus, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 20, 1989, and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She was given a lung and bone cancer diagnosis when she was 14. She had a failed hip replacement procedure two years later, which resulted in the amputation of her right leg.
But over time, she learned to love and accept her new body. She proudly wore lovely prosthetic coverings and incorporated them into her individual style. She also paired her vibrant clothing with eye-catching makeup and hair colours to flaunt her love of fashion.
At this point in her acceptance process, Cax turned to her athleticism and learned to handcycle. At the age of 18, she also picked up wheelchair basketball. She used a wheelchair to finish the New York City Marathon as well.
Cax became aware of the underrepresentation of Black women and women with disabilities on social media as the body positivity movement as a whole gained traction. Her frequent posting, advocacy for diversity in the fashion industry, and use of her platform to talk about her own body insecurities followed.
In September 2016, Cax received an invitation to the White House to take part in a fashion show hosted by Barack and Michelle Obama. In 2017, she appeared in her first commercial as a professional model, at which point Jag Models signed her. Addition to modelling for Chromat and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, she also appeared in commercials for Tommy Hilfiger and Sephora.
Following her appearance on the Teen Vogue cover in 2018, Cax made two appearances at New York Fashion Weeks in the swimsuit designed by Becca McCharen, who wanted to challenge the “standards of beauty.”