Being different… and sexy

Kanya Sesser’s dream was to defy traditional beauty standards. At 23 years old, she’s doing just that. CLAIRE RENCKEN reports.

This model, who was born without legs, lives in Los Angeles and earns a whopping US$1 000 (almost R14 000) a day posing in lingerie for various labels, including Billabong, Nike and Rip Curl Girl.

Adopted from a Thailand orphanage when she was five years old, Sesser moved with her new family to Portland, Oregon in the US. At 15, she started modelling for sportswear brands.

“I’m a go-getter, badass, sporty/girly girl,” Sesser posted on Facebook. “I’m always up for skating, surfing, snowboarding and just living it day by day.”

As a young girl, instead of using a wheelchair, she rode a skateboard and learnt to walk on her hands. “It’s something fun and it illustrates my story – I’m different and that is sexy; I don’t need legs to feel sexy,” she told international news agency Caters News. “I enjoy making money from it and I love showing people what beauty can look like. These images show my strength.”

When she’s not modelling or giving motivational speeches, Sesser is training to compete in the para-alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“If you push yourself, through hard work, effort, time, patience and a lot of confidence, you will reach your goals, which will inspire and motivate others,” she says.

See her in action on Facebook.

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