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THE POWER OF YOU: Self-love and body positivity


By Jerrica Thurman, Chief Strategy & Communications Officer

Singer, Model Sends Message of Self-Love and Body Positivity

Marsha ElleMarsha Elle has been an above-knee amputee most of her life. She was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency, a rare birth defect causing one leg to be shorter than the other because the femur in the upper-thigh area is either malformed or missing.

Marsha always dreamed of becoming a musician and model one day, but her DREAMS did not seem attainable, living with amputation. Despite her passion for music, her insecurities led her to believe the public would not accept her gift. “In a world where public image is everything, I had my doubts,” she said.

During her school years, Marsha would hide in the hallway and be late to class to avoid her peers’ hurtful comments. The kids would ask questions like, “Why do you walk like that?” Their words made her feel insecure. Despite her fears, Marsha found joy and hope in her life through music. “God used music to save my life,” she said. “It kept me in my right mind, positive and hopeful.”

With a made-up mind, Marsha became determined to fulfill her DREAM to become a musician. At the age of 17, she released her first song, “Hallelujah,” which became a hit nationally and internationally. She quickly became a positive influence and inspiration for those who dare to DREAM big. Spreading a message of love, strength and hope, Marsha went on to release the album “Brave” and other hit singles “Beard” and “Unlimbted.”

Marsha learned how to embrace the things that made her different. She leveraged her experiences and trials to encourage others to overcome insecurities and set an example for fellow amputees. Her latest single, “I Am Beautiful,” sends a message of self-acceptance and body positivity to the world.

After struggling to see models who looked like her throughout her childhood, Marsha decided to address this challenge by becoming part of the solution. Today, Marsha is a bionic model who proudly struts down runways modeling for clothing brands. From Glamour Brasil to Marie Claire and Huffington Post to People magazine, Marsha’s beauty has been featured celebrating her bravery and confidence.

Marsha ElleMarsha embraces her body’s resilience, allowing her to engage in a variety of activities, such as climbing and hiking. She’s always seeking new experiences due to her spontaneous nature. She’s the type of person who, in order to overcome her fear of heights, books a ski trip. As she puts it, “The only way to overcome a fear is to confront it head on.”

Marsha was the featured guest vocalist at the Amputee Coalition 2023 National Conference Opening Celebration in Orlando, Florida, on Aug. 2. Her effervescent smile and personality lit up the room, while her message of self-love uplifted the nearly 1,000 amputees in attendance. Her message of light and acceptance inspired all to overcome fear of what others think and to reach for their DREAMS.

The renowned singer believes that disability opens up many possibilities. She proudly identifies as someone with “diverse ability,” a term she coined herself to reflect the various abilities she possesses. In her words, “I can do everything.”

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