Amputee Model & Singer Inspires Through Music: “Let God Use You”
The beauty, fashion and entertainment industry can be brutal. If you don’t look a certain way, the industry creates a host of insecure girls and women who try to live up to that standard. Many look in the mirror and see something that’s off or “not quite right” with their God-given features, further pushing their self-esteem down. But one model says embrace who you are, flaws and all.
Model and singer Marsha Elle was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a rare birth defect in which the femur bone in the upper thigh area is either malformed or missing, causing one leg to be shorter than the other. As a result, the lower half of her leg was amputated shortly after birth.
Yet, in spite of being an above-the-knee amputee all her life, the Miami-based living inspiration refuses to let that stop her from pursuing her dreams of becoming a musician and model. And most importantly, she hasn’t let it rob her of her joy as you can tell from her smiles on social media.
The cause of PFFD is uncertain. Thalidomide is known to cause PFFD when the mother is exposed to it in the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy, and it is speculated that exposure to other toxins during pregnancy may also be a cause. Other etiologies that have been suggested, but not proven, include anoxia, ischemia, radiation, infection, hormones, and mechanical force. PFFD occurs sporadically and does not appear to be hereditary.
As a young girl Marsha faced insecurities and bullying, but slowly she’s learned to embrace her looks. Now she’s a body-positive icon inspiring thousands. “As a child I was quite bashful and insecure,” Marsha tells Metro.co.uk. “I would wear baggy clothes to cover up my leg to avoid mean comments and stares.”
“Kids would mock my walk and gait, which was very hurtful. I tried so hard to ‘walk straight’ but I couldn’t. That’s part of my deformation.” At 16 Marsha attended a camp created specifically for amputees – a turning point in her journey of self-love. “Amputee camp really helped me to accept myself,” says Marsha. “When I was 16, I went to camp and met other amputees like myself. It was amazing – I did not feel alone. From then on, I vowed to embrace my body and help others do the same.”
Releasing her first hit song, “Hallelujah,” at the age of 17, Elle has quickly become a…