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How Model Jillian Mercado Is Normalizing Muscular Dystrophy

You've probably seen her in Target campaigns or modeling for the icon Beyoncé's clothing line—but here's how Jillian Mercado is knocking down barriers for other models with differences and disabilities.From a very young age, Jillian Mercado was told she would have to work 10 times harder than the average person. As a woman with muscular dystrophy and an immeasurable amount of ambition, she used those words to fuel her path to achieving her modelingdreams.True to her mother's words, Jillian was told “no” and that she “didn't belong in the fashion world” overand over again. But her determination paid off; after years of persistently challenging the antiquated fashion norms, she started to capture the attention of big brands. Soon, she was booking campaigns with Target, Nordstrom, and even Beyoncé's 'Formation' fashion line.Now Jillian is represented by IMG models and continues to knock down barriers for other modelswith disabilities in the fashion industry—as a Latinx woman and model with muscular dystrophy. “Nobody in this world can stop me from doing what I like to do, especially as far as my dreams and aspirations goes, just because I travel in a chair,” she stated.

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