After being bullied and rejected, Shaholly Ayers turned her weakness into her biggest strength to be an one arm model
Her teachers told her she wouldn’t be able to participate in gym class. Her coaches told her she wouldn’t make into the basketball team, because they thought she can’t dribble or shoot baskets with one hand. And then in college, as she set out to pursue her long cherished dream of a model, the agency she approached simply rejected her. Ten years after, Shaholly Ayers defied every odd to fulfill her dream to become a model.
There’s no way you’re going to be a model because you don’t have two arms. I tried to explain — I have prosthesis, I can wear that — really trying to sell it, recalls Shaholly Ayers.
Ayers was born without her right arm below the elbow, which is called as congenital amputation. Initially, after she was being rejected by the agent, she was very upset. But then, she decided to pursue her dream without an agent.
I was so new, I was so green. I didn’t have a portfolio or anything. I had to start at the very beginning. I worked with photographers and makeup artists to build my portfolio first, and then I started going to local boutiques and telling them I’d model for them. It worked.
Ayers has recently appeared in a catalog for Nordstrom, her third time working for the company. She has also walked the runway at New York Fashion Week. Sometimes Ayers wears her prosthetic arm on shoots; other times she doesn’t.