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HOW LAUREN WASSER IS BREAKING
THE
BOUNDARIES OF
LIMITATIONS

Learn about how model and activist Lauren Wasser conquered the runway after losing her legs

Story by Malena Harbers

Known as the girl with the golden legs, model Lauren Wasser has walked for trend-setting New York Fashion Week shows Chromat and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, inspiring a push for more diversity on the catwalks.

  • For The Love of the Game
  • For The Love of the Game

    Though she has been modelling from 4 months old, posing for Italian Vogue with her supermodel mother; Lauren’s first love was basketball, which her father introduced her to as a baby. “I felt like I could leave everything on the court. It was my release,” Lauren said.

    Lauren’s Journey

    At just 24, both her promising modelling career and dreams of playing professional basketball suddenly unravelled when Lauren lost her right leg in 2012 to the life-threatening condition toxic shock syndrome. Six years later, she had her left leg amputated due to complications with gangrene.

  • A NEW PATH
  • A NEW PATH

    But Lauren was determined to turn her tragedy into something positive. As well as returning to the runway, she is back on the basketball courts with a mean handle game, and driving awareness about TSS prevention while advocating for global change in the feminine care industry.

    Passion Project

    On her new role, she told InStyle magazine: “I am comfortable as an advocate against an affliction that affects thousands of women. I realized that I was lucky to have gotten out alive and so many victims don’t.”

Toxic shock
syndrome took
my
legs—but it didn’t
take
my spirit

Behind the scenes

Go behind the scenes of Lauren
Wasser’s shoot with SHISEIDO

On Being a Survivor...
“In 2012, I was a healthy, active young woman. I played basketball, had a full scholarship, and had dreams of being in the WNBA. I had the whole world ahead of me. And then I got really sick and I had a one percent chance of survival. The life-threatening illness took my legs—but it didn’t take my spirit.”
On Perseverance...
“After this happened to me, I really had to find myself and try to change people’s ideas and views on beauty. I think where I’m at now is pretty cool.”
On Staying Optimistic...
“I hope that I bring a very positive and happy spirit to the table. I try to be courageous and show everyone that it’s ok to be themselves.”
On Feeling Beautiful...
"To have SHISEIDO believe in what I’m trying to do—push boundaries and open people’s minds and hearts to a different side of beauty—is really cool.”
On How to be a Trailblazer...
“Do not force yourself to accept your destiny: change it instead.”

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