SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER
“People usually think that those with prosthetic legs are very shy and prefer to stay at home, but I want to change that mindset. I want people to know that we can still be very fashionable and outgoing even with our disabilities.”
Her world fell apart in 2015, and she thought she would never model again. Meet Rosalina Oktavia, a 28-year-old model who had to have her gangrenous leg amputated after an operation to fix a torn tendon, as a result of a motorcycle accident in 2010, went horribly wrong.
Rosalina spent four months relearning how to walk after losing her lower-limb but often felt embarrassed and like an outcast due to constant stares from strangers. She begun to shut herself from the world for a whole month. When she saw how heartbroken her father was at her plight, she was determined to survive and thrive.
After moving to Singapore, she decided not to hide any longer – she began to wear her prosthetic proudly. Her ex-husband, a photographer, created an Instagram account for her to help break the stigmatised perception of disability. As she posted up more photos of herself on the platform, others begun to realise that she was different, and more approached her for collaborations, which kick-started her modelling career. She realised she could also use the same platform to spread more awareness and bring about change around the approach to disability in Singapore.
Rosalina was photographed on sports, elegant and lingerie shoots, before being asked to walk the catwalk as part of Singapore Fashion Runway in 2017. Now she’s determined to encourage others to not be held back by their differences or disabilities and is also an ambassador for charity Models of Diversity UK.
“Although it was my first time, I was not nervous about the large audience, but I really had to focus on my walking pace in order to not to miss my steps. If you set your mind to do something, go for it. Do not let others distract you. Don’t let other people’s opinions affect you. Most importantly don’t let your differences or disabilities define who you are.”