Allow us to introduce you to Cacsmy Brutus, our latest style crush. The 25-year-old Brooklynite, who prefers to be called Mama Càx, is disarmingly beautiful with her covetable wardrobe, flawless skin, stunning smile, and one phenomenal leg.
Sure, at first you might be distracted by her prosthetic limb, but that's short-lived. The Haitian beauty's unwavering confidence is far more compelling.
When Càx was 14 years old she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma that metastasized to her lungs.
"Osteosarcoma is common in teen boys and although they don't know the cause of it, there is a huge correlation between rapid bone growth and this type of cancer," Càx told The Huffington Post. "At age 16 I had a hip replacement attempting to get rid of the affected bone. Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful so I ended up getting some of my right hip removed -- along with my right leg."
Despite this life-changing event, Càx is not just managing to get on with life -- she is living life to the fullest. Now she spends her time traveling the world, modeling and writing about it all on her blog.
Since we are utterly fascinated, we reached out to Càx to learn more about her awesome life and style. Check it out...
You embrace your beauty with such grace and confidence -- where does that come from?
I grew up with parents who told me I was beautiful every single day. But teenagers are mean and I was made fun of for my long legs. I also matured quite late. There was this one boy who used to refer to me as "the girl with the flat chest.” As I got older, mainstream media didn't make it any easier. Here I was at 16 years old, covered in scars and missing a limb. I did not feel pretty. In the last couple of years I've been able to step away from my judgmental self and observe how my loved ones see me. For them my scars represented the battles I won and my prosthetic has made me this super cool cyborg chick. But don't get me wrong, I have bad days. Some days I wake up and feel so discouraged and ask the universe why did this have to happen to me. Some days I get fed up with the stares and the questions. Ultimately, I’m able to feel pretty and be confident because I surround myself with people who make me feel as such. No one will ever be able to take these feelings away from me.
When did you start modeling? Any dream gigs or new projects you can tell us about?
I consider myself more of a muse. I have many friends that are photographers and I like to collaborate with them. I do work with a head wrap company and occasionally model some head wraps. I’ve been considering modeling as a side gig, I guess my next step is to build a portfolio. You will be seeing more of me modeling.
Your head wrap game is strong. Where do you get your beautiful wraps?
They are from Fanm Djanm. In Haitian creole "fanm djanm" means strong woman and I certainly feel like one when I wear my head wraps.
You are from Haiti -- what is the most beautiful thing about your country?
Both my parents are Haitian. And although I was born in New York. I spent 10 years living in Haiti. There are so many things I like about my country. The music, the colors, the beach, the food but most importantly the people. Haiti is a very poor country and we’ve had to deal with political turmoil and a recent earthquake -- but through it all Haitians remain resilient and hopeful.
What are three words that describe your personal style?
Unpredictable, Afrocentric and timeless.
Who are your style/beauty icons?
Fashion wise, I think the everyday New Yorker inspires me but if I had to choose a style icon it would have to be Solange Knowles. She is a trendsetter, edgy and sophisticated. She is able to play with bold prints and colors while maintaining her minimalistic style.
Your skin is sublime. What is your beauty regimen? Favorite products?
Thank you! That’s the power of summer. The summer brings out a glow and shows my warm undertones. I don't really think I have a beauty regimen. I try to remove all my makeup before bed. I use olive oil as a makeup remover. To moisturize my face, I use raw shea butter and I’m very anal about wearing sunscreen. During the cold season, I keep the same routine but struggle with extremely dry skin. If I have to use a skincare product I use something non-scented like Eucerin.
Who are your favorite designers or go-to clothing brands?
I’m a lazy shopper. I don’t really have a favorite designer or brand. For pieces I want to last a while I go to Zara, Mango or American Apparel. My everyday clothes are probably a combination of Urban Outfitters and H&M. I'm very big on jewelry and always on the hunt for a statement ring or sunglasses. I usually hit the streets of NYC in one of the many flea markets and buy from local designers.
You are so outspoken and supportive when it comes to the amputee community. Are you involved with any specific organizations?
I get really excited when I see amputees breaking stereotypes and pushing themselves. I’m not involved with a specific organization, but when I volunteered I do it with an organization that provides support to child victims of land mines -- and I occasionally rock climb with amputee veterans.
What do you love to do when you're not traveling or modeling?
I am a program coordinator at a global non-profit organization. The organization builds schools around the world and engages U.S. youth in meaningful service here at home. I am also a travel blogger. I travel often and wanted to start a blog where I talk about and reflect on my experience traveling as a woman, a person of color and a personal with a disability. The website is a work in progress, but eventually I want it to be a space where people share their unique travel experiences.
We spotted a picture of you on Instagram rock climbing -- and without your prosthetic! Climbing is difficult in general, but to do it without the support of four limbs seems impossible. Where do you find the courage and strength to take on new challenges?
Oh yeah, my rock climbing days. When I rock climb I mainly rely on my arms. I love rock climbing because it not only requires physical strength but also critical thinking. You have to think a couple of moves ahead before making a move. I like to challenge myself physically. I’ve always wanted to rock climb so I spent a year practicing indoors. When I travelled to Cambodia two years ago I had the privilege of rock climbing outdoors with an amazing group of climbers. It was difficult but definitely not impossible. My next goal is to complete the New York City Triathlon.
When do you feel the most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I eat healthy and exercise. It clears my skin and makes be feel beautiful inside and out.