Child Model without Legs Joins Paris Fashion Week

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. amputee / ˌæm pyʊˈti / (n) – a person who has lost an arm or a leg

    The generous man donated artificial legs to hundreds of amputees.

  2. defect / ˈdi fɛkt / (n) – a fault or problem, usually physical

    Cleft lip is a common birth defect that can usually be corrected through surgery.

  3. by chance / baɪ tʃæns / (idiom) – not planned

    The scientist was trying to study something else when he discovered the new medicine by chance.

  4. superficial / ˌsu pərˈfɪʃ əl / (adj) – involving only the outer or external part of something; shallow

    The sisters’ similarities are only superficial. They totally have different personalities.

  5. inclusion / ɪnˈklu ʒən / (n) – the act of including someone who is often seen as different (e.g. based on race, disabilities, gender) as a member of a group

    In an attempt to promote inclusion, the TV show is featuring actors with disabilities.


Read the text below.

A nine-year-old from Birmingham, United Kingdom, made history as the first double amputee to model at Paris Fashion Week.

Daisy-May Demetre /dɪˈmitri/ walked on the runway on her running blades, a pair of prosthetic legs that can also be used for sports. She modeled for Lulu et Gigi /ˈlu-lu ɛ ˈdʒi-dʒi/, a luxury clothing brand for kids inspired by French fashion.

Demetre’s legs were amputated at 18 months old because of a birth defect. She had a condition wherein some of her leg bones were missing, requiring her to undergo surgery. Nevertheless, Demetre did not let her disability stop her from pursuing her dream.

Demetre’s modeling career started when her father saw a modeling agency for people with disabilities by chance. He suggested the idea of modeling to her, and the rest was history.

Since she started, Demetre has modeled for several major clothing brands, including River Island and Nike. She has also appeared in major fashion shows, such as the London Kids’ Fashion Week and the New York Fashion Week.

The founder of Lulu et Gigi expressed that she did not have any second thoughts about employing an amputee as a model for her brand. She also said that she appointed Demetre as a brand ambassador because she wanted people to see that beauty is not superficial and that it comes from within.

Lulu et Gigi boasts a lineup of diverse models as the brand campaigns for inclusion.  Aside from Demetre, the brand also has models of different body types and one who has Down syndrome.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What do you think are the benefits of having a diverse line-up of models in the fashion industry? Discuss.
• In your opinion, what other industries should have more diversity and inclusion (e.g. entertainment)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What are the advantages of having initiatives that are unconventional (e.g. hiring diverse models)? Explain.
• On the other hand, what are the possible risks of these unconventional initiatives? Discuss.