My Journey to Confidence with a Disability

About the Author: Maripaz is a disabled influencer, model, and student who was born with a disability. Although she studies education and has career aspirations separate from her influencer and modeling career, she has been able to educate and inspire many other disabled women with her platform. You can learn more about Maripaz on her instagram here.

Hi! My name is Maripaz. I am 21 years old I am from Monterrey, Mexico. I was born with a disability, I have a short femur and my right arm is shorter than the other arm.

Since I was little my mother has taught me to love myself regardless of having a different body. My childhood was very beautiful since I grew up with a loving family and supportive friends who loved me for who I was. That kept me feeling supported and stable.

However, when I was 12 years old I began to be insecure about my body. Every time I looked at myself I hated what I saw, I even used certain pants to cover my disability so that people would not notice I looked different. I felt so bad that I came to think about suicide many times, until one day I looked in the mirror I realized that the only one who was hurting myself was me. I began to regain my self-esteem, being more feminine, and little by little others opinions started to mean less to me, and I felt comfortable showing my disability.

I talked more with people and started to love the world I was living in. When I finished high school, I had to take the exams that would determine my acceptance for college. Unfortunately I did not pass it, but I did not let the year go to waste as I waited to take it again. It was a year in which I experienced many things, how to practice a sport such as swimming, I started to exercise, my body was undergoing changes for the better, and I participated in the paralympics. Even though I did not win, it was a very important achievement in my life because I dared to do things that I had never experienced. The following year I took my exam again to enter the university.

Fortunately I passed the exam. I am currently studying education, I am in the seventh semester and I only have 2 years left to graduate for my career. I have thought about being a teacher or working in human resources. Although my other dream is to be a model for big agencies like Vogue, Vanity Fair etc. I would like to inspire people through my body and my confidence. However, I have lived beautiful moments in my life as a model for a hospital for people with disabilities, I have given a message of support in a radio station, they have painted me naked, and I have been interviewed by Telemundo.

I am grateful to life for everything it has given me, in the future I want to be able to do lectures to talk about self-love. I would like to do so many things in my life before I die, like traveling in the world, and finding a person who loves me just the way I am. But for now I will continue to try to inspire others by showcasing what acceptance and confidence looks like.

Thank you to Liberare for giving me an opportunity to share my story on this beautiful page, it is beautiful to see people like me who love life and enjoy it. They inspire me day by day.