Scoliosis and Wearing a Body Brace During My Teen Modeling Years

It all seems so long ago now, being a teenager; being a teen model; wearing a body brace for scoliosis. Yes. I wore the Boston body brace to treat my scoliosis from age 12-18. Whew that’s a long time to carry around a heavy plastic and metal body “cage” isn’t it?!

 Me on the runway for Christian Lacroix. The fit of the dress as well as the pattern reminds me of my body brace.

Me on the runway for Christian Lacroix. The fit of the dress as well as the pattern reminds me of my body brace.

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that is treatable by several methods, one being a body brace. However it’s not easy to be a teen full stop nor is it easy to be an awkward teen. That’s what I was since I was the 5’10” 13 year old who wore a body brace under her baggy clothes. Ugh, I still remember how uncomfortable I was in my own skin.

But then the modeling world spotted me and gave me a career that I had never dreamed of till that point. I still had to wear my body brace however, and fortunately for me it wasn’t an issue on set. It’s all in the presentation after all. If you have a challenging situation at work/school, don’t speak about it to others in a self-deprecating way. Present the circumstance in a matter of fact way without a negative aspect to it. The fact was that I was a kid who medically had to wear a body brace. So there was no need to make it a problem, it was a fact pure and simple. I could only have it off on set when modeling the clothes, and I had to wear it during all other times throughout the day; getting hair and makeup done etc.

The point is none of us are perfect. Even a top model such as myself has something. Don’t make your “setbacks” setbacks. Accept them and move on knowing you are not less than others because of them. What you perceive as your weakness is actually your strength. Everyone has something.

Maria NaccaratoComment