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This Model with Muscular Dystrophy Will Make You Love Your Body!



Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015005Have you ever thought about your body and felt you could look a lot better? Well, when you’re done with this post, you’ll be thinking a lot differently.

When I first heard about 28-year-old model, Jillian Mercado, I was really speechless. Looking at her selfies, you wouldn’t even know she uses a wheelchair and even after knowing that, you would not guess she has been living with Spastic Muscular Dystrophy since she was a little girl, has been photographed by fashion magazines, been invited to fashion runways, and even worked behind-the-scenes as a style editor.

Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015001 Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015004

Having been living with her condition for years, the Dominican beauty has faced all odds – from being bullied for being different in high school to having to stand taller than others in the fashion industry.

Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015002 Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015003

Due to her condition, Jillian has lived under scrutiny for her physique but took a bold step by posing naked for Curves The Book. See her emotional caption below;Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015006

Watch Jillian talk about her journey so far below;

Now, she is signed to IMG Models, the same modelling agency that represents names like Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss and Kate Moss.

Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015Jillian Mercado for IMG Models - BellaNaija - August 2015007

Her story is so amazing and I hope this has inspired you as much as it has me.

Photo Credit: @Jilly_Pepper (Instagram)

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. ogey

    August 19, 2015 at 2:18 pm


  2. Wunmi A.

    August 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I had goosebumps all over while reading this….truly inspired.

  3. Respect

    August 19, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Amazing! Her spiritual is strong to believe she CAN!

  4. ChiChiChilolo

    August 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Lord i am thankful for the way you created me. I may not have the body of Toolz but i still give glory to you.

    • Humbled

      August 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I do not even want toolz body as I’m satisfied with how I am specially and wonderfully made.

    • jay

      August 19, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Toolz?? Errmmm..ok

  5. Adaeze Writes

    August 19, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    This is so touching! She is so beautiful!

  6. Gorgeous

    August 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    There is ability in disability. We are all restricted only by our minds. I de even jealous am sey her breast big pass my own. LMAO.

  7. BlueEyed

    August 19, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    She’s such a gem! Met her in NYC during fashion week and she’s such a charm!

  8. Vivi

    August 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    God help me to appreciate everything and everyone around me. This is so inspiring.

  9. Psychic

    August 20, 2015 at 8:26 am


  10. Tola

    August 20, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Yet, in Nigeria, we’re so particular about our models being perfect. I’ve been trying to get a modelling agency forever and all I hear is, I don’t have great hips. Anyway, I thank God for everything. This has inspired me. I believe!

  11. Bar Baric

    August 21, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Whomsoever believe in themselves, will not be doubted, and whomsoever doubted themselves will not be believed. Bless her soul.

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