Rebekah Marine was born with limb abnormality – symbrachydactyly and has been wearing a black prosthetic arm for the past 19 years but her wedding day called for a special occasion so she got a gold arm made.
A model born without a forearm just got married wearing a gold prosthetic hand after she’s been wearing the same black bionic limb for almost 20 years.
The 31-year-old from Woodbury, New Jersey married Jared Paster, a 32-year-old medical student on April 7 wearing the gold bionic arm so that it would draw people’s attention and show them that she’s happy the way she is.
Happily ever after: A model born without a forearm just got married wearing a gold prosthetic hand after she’s been wearing the same black bionic limb for almost 20 years
Wedding: Rebekah Marine was born with limb abnormality – symbrachydactyly and married Jared Paster, a 32-year-old medical student on April 7 wearing the gold bionic arm
Amazing: She’s been wearing a black prosthetic arm for the past 19 years but her wedding day called for a special occasion so she got a gold arm made
Awareness: The 31-year-old from New Jersey said she wore the gold arm so that it would draw people’s attention and show them that she’s happy the way she is
Rebekah has faced many hardships in her life as a model trying to make it in the industry but finally broke ground when she was asked to model in New York Fashion Week back in 2015 when she was just 22-years-old.
Since 1999 she’s always worn a black i-limb quantum prosthetic hand, which was made with advanced gesture control technology but she knew from the moment she got engaged that she wanted to wear a ‘wedding arm’ she told Yahoo Lifestyle.
‘I knew when I got engaged that I wanted a wedding arm – I wanted to do something special,’ she told the outlet.
She continued on explaining that the gold hand was made to draw attention.
‘The whole point of wearing it was to draw attention to it,’ she explained.
‘I wanted people to see it and notice it because I am proud of where I am right now.’
‘Originally I had liked the idea of white but I realized you might lose it with the white of my wedding dress. A friend suggested gold.
‘The challenge then was finding the right shade of gold because I didn’t want to look like C-3PO,’ she said referencing the gold character from Star Wars.
Honeymoon: Rebekah loved the gold prosthetic so much she even wore it on her honeymoon in Mexico despite people staring at her she notes
I see you! She said she was wearing sunglasses but could see everybody staring at her admitting she thought it was cool that people were in ‘awe’
Attention: ‘The gold arm makes me more approachable’ she said admitting that she ‘wants people to ask questions’ and wants to ‘educate people about it’
She expressed how she’s always battled with the fear of not being able to marry someone because of her arm and how all of her dreams have finally come true.
‘Growing up I feared marriage because I feared everyone looking at me, so it’s awesome to see how far I’ve come.’
Rebekah gushed about her new arm saying it’s her ‘new favorite accessory,’ and she even wore it on her entire honeymoon in Mexico.
Wearing her gold arm around the beach with the sun blaring on it was not an easy task to deal with as she explained, ‘I would wear sunglasses and I could see everybody staring at me because they didn’t know I was looking at them. It was cool to see people staring at it in awe.
‘The gold arm makes me more approachable. It draws a lot more attention and the whole point of wearing it is to draw attention to it. I want people to ask questions and I want to educate people about it,’ she explained.
As for how she feels now that she’s finally comfortable in her own skin Rebekah shared: ‘We all can’t be Kim Kardashian, realistically, so we have to learn to embrace our uniqueness. It is so important to talk about the differences we all have.’
Spokesperson: After she started wearing a prosthesis 19 years ago, Rebekah developed a new confidence that inspired her to pursue modeling and become a spokesperson for her disability
Beautiful either way: Rebekah wore a mechanical prosthesis in grade school, however, it was difficult to use and she eventually gave up on the idea until she got a new one in 1999
Rising star: Rebekah was rejected by numerous agencies as a child but returned to modeling after being fitted for her prosthesis, appearing in bridal shoots (left) and on the runway (right)
After she started wearing a prosthesis 19 years ago, Rebekah developed a new confidence that inspired her to pursue modeling again after being rejected many times and become a spokesperson for her disability.
‘It’s been quite a journey for me,’ she told People. ‘It was hard at first to put myself out there for the whole world to see. But I’ve become quite comfortable with myself now, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.’
As a child Rebekah dreamed of becoming a model and her mother would take her to various agencies in New York City.
However, the constant stream of rejection left her feeling self-conscious about her arm and soon she no longer felt comfortable having her photo taken.
‘It didn’t go very well, of course, when casting directors noticed my disability,’ she recalled. ‘Hearing the words, ‘You’ll never have a future in the business,’ really hit me hard.’
Rebekah wore a mechanical prosthesis in grade school, however, it was difficult to use and she eventually gave up on the idea.
Life-changing: Rebekah received one of the first new i-limb quantum prosthetic hands (pictured), which was made with advanced gesture control technology
Raising awareness: Rebekah said it is important to include diverse models because ‘nearly one in five people in America have a disability’
Inspiring: Rebekah also served as an ambassador for Touch Bionics and the Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit organization that helps support those with upper limb differences
At 22, she looked into getting a myoelectric-controlled prosthesis, an artificial limb that the users controls with electrical signals generated by their own muscles.
After she got fitted for it, her friend asked if she was going to model her new ‘accessory’, and Rebekah was inspired to embrace her unique look and return to modeling.
A few months later Rebekah booked a small bridal photo shoot and since then she has appeared in a Nordstrom campaign and walked the runway wearing designer Antonio Urzi at New York Fashion Week in February 2015.
‘I thought my portfolio was strong, and I had a good message behind it, but they quickly passed on me,’ Rebekah explained. ‘My image isn’t for everyone; I’ve accepted that.’
In addition to modeling, Rebekah also served as an ambassador for Touch Bionics, a provider of prosthetic technologies and for the Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit organization that helps support those with upper limb differences.
And because of models like Rebekah, the fashion industry is slowly but surely starting to embrace diversity.