Google Doodle celebrates Mama Cax during Black History Month USA
Google Doodle celebrates the pioneering American model and disability rights activist who championed for the fashion industry's inclusion of differently abled models and people of colour.
On the 8th February 2023, in honour of Black History Month USA, Google Doodle celebrated Haitian American model and disability rights advocate Mama Cax. Illustrated by Brooklyn-based guest artist Lyne Lucien, Mama Cax is best known for shattering expectations around beauty. The model and advocate proudly strutted down catwalks on her prosthetic leg, often designed with colours and patterns. Also on this day in 2019, Mama Cax made her debut on a runway at New York Fashion Week.
Mama Cax was born Cacsmy Brutus on November 20, 1989, in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. At age 14, she was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer. As a result of her cancer, she underwent an unsuccessful hip replacement surgery at age 16 which led to the amputation of her right leg. At first, Mama Cax was depressed and struggled to accept herself with a prosthetic leg, as she wanted it to look realistic and match her skin tone.
As time passed, Mama Cax began accepting and loving her new body. She started wearing stylish prosthetic covers with pride incorporating it as part of her personal style. She also began expressing her love for fashion and style with colourful outfits, hair dyes, and bold makeup. During this time of embracing her disability, Cax also leaned into her athleticism and learned to handcycle — she went on to complete the New York City Marathon!
As the body positivity movement grew, Mama Cax noticed that Black women and women with disabilities were underrepresented in social media. She began posting regularly and advocating for inclusivity in fashion and using social media to discuss her body insecurities. She officially broke into the fashion industry as a model in an advertising campaign in 2017 and was signed by Jag Models shortly after. In 2018, she landed a Teen Vogue cover, and the following year, Mama Cax walked in both the February and October New York Fashion Weeks.
Mama Cax’s life was tragically cut short by medical complications in 2019 at the young age of 30. The model and activist is remembered for expanding the image of what people with disabilities should be or look like. Today’s vibrant Doodle artwork is a reflection of her bright life. The artwork highlights the many facets of her identity including her Haitian heritage, her NYC hometown, and her fashion career with her prosthetic incorporated into the look.
Thank you for being a positive role model and advocating for inclusion in the fashion and beauty world, Mama Cax.