If you happened to do a Google search on Wednesday, Feb. 8, you would have seen a vibrant Doodle depicting a powerful visual of amputee model Mama Cax. Born Cacsmy Brutus, Mama Cax was a Haitian-American model, cancer survivor, and disability rights advocate who was best known for modeling with a prosthetic leg and simultaneously shattering expectations of beauty in the fashion industry.
In honor of Black History Month, Google paid homage to Mama Cax on the four-year anniversary of her debut at New York Fashion Week. The Doodle was illustrated by Brooklyn-based guest artist Lyne Lucien, who also identifies as Haitian-American.
When she was only 14 years old, Mama Cax was diagnosed with lung cancer and osteosarcoma, which led to the amputation of her right leg. At first she struggled to accept her new limb and tried to hide it, but over time Mama Cax grew to embrace her new body and dressed up her prosthesis as an extension of her personal style. Seeing the disparity in representation of Black women and women with disabilities, she took to social media as a platform to advocate for inclusive fashion.
Initially facing resistance in the modeling industry, Mama Cax received her first opportunity in 2017 and was signed by Jag Models. She went on to model for high-end labels, graced the cover of Teen Vogue, and walked twice in New York Fashion Week with her prosthesis proudly displayed.
Tragically, Mama Cax died in 2019 from medical complications. In her short life she was an inspiration to many and expanded the definition of beauty, paving the way for others like her to follow.