As a feminist, a mother, a pop icon and a businessperson, Beyoncé has always been about feeling confident and making the most of your life no matter what cards you've been dealt. Now, she's found the perfect woman to help deliver that message on her website.
Jillian Mercado, a model and blogger with muscular dystrophy, was hand-picked by Bey to be the face of her Formation tour merchandise, and is seen all over her website rocking hats, sweatshirts and t-shirts with lyrics from the icon's new hit single.
“OK LADIES now let’s get in FORMATION!” Mercado wrote on Instagram, where she announced the news. “So BEYond excited to finally announce that I’m on the official @beyonce website!!! A special shout out to Queen Bee herself and the amazing team behind it"
Mercado is featured on the site's homepage in her wheelchair between two other models, wearing a “Hot Sauce” hat and a sweater that reads, “I Twirl on Them Haters.” We bet she does!
Mercado has been represented by IMG Models since last year and has worked on campaigns for Diesel Jeans and Nordstrom. “I was shocked that I didn’t see anyone in the industry who was like me,” Mercado told Vogue last year. “So when people — girls especially — tell me that I’m their role model, I am taken aback. I love it and it is flattering but it affects me on a very personal level because I remember growing up without having a person I could look to.”
Thanks to this new platform provided by Bey, people everywhere will be able to look up to Mercado as an example of how to #slay no matter what challenges you face. Bravo to Jillian, and to Beyoncé, for expanding the traditional idea of beauty.