April 25, 2024



Mama Cax: A Trailblazing Legacy of Resilience and Representation

2 min read

Photos from mamacax.com

In the world of fashion, where beauty standards often conform to a narrow definition, Mama Cax emerged as a beacon of diversity, resilience, and unapologetic authenticity. Cacsmy Brutus, born on November 20, 1989, in Brooklyn, New York City, defied societal norms and became an inspiring figure in both the fashion industry and the disability rights movement.

Mama Cax’s journey was marked by extraordinary courage and determination, beginning with her early life in Haiti. At the age of 14, she faced a life-altering diagnosis of osteosarcoma and lung cancer, with doctors predicting only three weeks left for her. Undeterred by the grim prognosis, Mama Cax battled through, undergoing a hip replacement at 16 that ultimately resulted in the amputation of her right leg. It took several years for her to rebuild her confidence, during which she concealed her prosthetic leg from the world.

Undoubtedly, Mama Cax was not just a trailblazer in the realm of fashion but also an academic achiever. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations, a testament to her intellectual prowess and determination to break barriers beyond the runway.

Her foray into the world of sports, learning wheelchair basketball at the age of 18, showcased her resilience and determination to embrace life fully. Yet, it was in the realm of modeling that Mama Cax truly left an indelible mark.

In 2016, Mama Cax was invited to the White House to participate in a fashion show hosted by Barack and Michelle Obama. This marked the beginning of her ascent in the modeling world. She signed with JAG Models in New York, walked the runway for renowned names like Chromat and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, and graced the cover of Teen Vogue in 2018, alongside Jillian Mercado and Chelsea Werner.

Her commercial success knew no bounds, featuring in campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Sephora. In 2019, Mama Cax became the face of Olay for their sunscreen marketing campaign, solidifying her status as a trailblazer in the beauty industry.

Tragically, Mama Cax’s journey came to an untimely end on December 16, 2019, in the Royal London Hospital. Hospitalized for severe abdominal pains and blood clots in the lung, she succumbed to a pulmonary embolism. However, her legacy endures, transcending her physical presence.

In a poignant tribute, Mama Cax was honored with a Google Doodle on February 8, 2023, as part of Black History Month. Her story continues to inspire, reminding us all that beauty knows no bounds and that true strength lies in embracing one’s unique journey.

Though Mama Cax may no longer be with us, her legacy lives on through her Instagram page, @mamacax, where her vibrant spirit, empowering messages, and trailblazing moments continue to resonate with a global audience. In celebrating Mama Cax, we celebrate not only a remarkable model but a transformative force who redefined beauty standards and championed diversity in the fashion industry.

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