Elegantly strutting their stuff on the catwalk in Tunisia, women with disabilities and cancer patients dazzled audiences in a fashion show, which aimed to battle misconceptions about beauty standards.
Twelve women and young girls, including cancer patients, people with disabilities, patients of vitiligo and visible burn spots participated in the second ‘RAC Mahlak’ or ‘You are beautiful’ fashion show, organised by Rotaract Club Tanit Carthage.
Twirling in colourful and trendy designs, the models exhibited their outfits in the backdrop of a 20th-century palace in Sidi Bou Said.
"RAC Mahlak is an event for women with cancer, with a physical disability, or any woman who feels different but in fact she is not different," one of the organisers said.
"The event is a fashion show where we bring fashion designers and beauty specialists to dress and do make-up to them to go out on the red carpet in the presence of their families and the people they love."
The mother of one cancer patient participating in the show said: "We must accept fate and destiny and try to adapt to it, especially that the young ones surprise you with their understanding, and many times it is my daughter who helps me to be patient.”
"There is a message that I want to convey and I hope that people will understand it. We should not look with pity for the child or the parents, it destroys us," she said.
"Treat him as a human being who has an affliction and with God's will, there's no death, there's healing, in fact 80 per cent of children recover because the look of pity psychologically is unforgettable."
Another organiser said the models "hit the catwalk and proved that they are beautiful despite all, and the goal of this action is to show these women and girls that they are beautiful inside out and that they can do anything".