The Story of a Fearless Woman Who Is Breaking Boundaries for Disabled People
Jillian Mercado is a fierce young woman who has been taking the world by storm. A successful model and emerging actress, Mercado doesn’t let any obstacles get in her way. When she was a child, Mercado was diagnosed with muscular dystrophia, causing her to spend a lot of time in psychical therapy when she was younger.
Her career took off in 2014 with a fashion campaign.
Instead of letting her disability take over her life, this brave and gorgeous Dominican woman has dedicated her entire career to shattering prejudice and breaking barriers for disabled people. It all started back in 2014 when Mercado was chosen to appear in an ad for a fashion company.
She initially gave up her dream of becoming a model.
Mercado says that initially, she thought that becoming a model would be impossible for her because she was convinced that nobody would give her a chance. “I never thought I’d get picked, but my friends encouraged me to try out because, hey, you never know — and 2 weeks later, they got back to me,” she explained.
But Mercado made it, against all odds.
Ever since she built a name for herself in the fashion industry, Mercado has been using her voice to break stereotypes about beauty and tries to make the fashion industry more welcoming and inclusive toward everyone. And her commitment to achieving this goal is truly commendable. “It’s not about opening doors for me, it’s about removing them,” Mercado said.
She was amazed at the number of obstacles that disabled people still face.
When discussing her journey, Mercado explained how it’s different when you’re a model with a disability, saying, “No one is going to question you graduating college or having a relationship. But for people like me, being intimate or loved is perceived as unnatural or weird.” This is one of the reasons why she spends so much time and effort on eradicating the stigma that disabled people still experience, not only in the fashion industry but in general.
She bravely stands against prejudice and discrimination.
She emphasizes that the number of ’’systematic stereotypes’’ she had to endure while building her career is astonishing and that it’s high time to start asking ourselves, “Why does a disability continue to even be a factor?”
She is still learning the importance of self-confidence.
When it comes to building self-confidence, Mercado says that it took a lot of courage to value her place on this planet and that she started getting tired of negativity and self-depreciation. “I had to come to a place of embracing doing me no matter who it bothers,” she said, adding that she’s still on that journey “every day.”
We can currently watch her on The L World: Generation and My Eyes Are Up Here, and we’re hoping for many more hit movies and TV shows to come in the future.