Mo-Yccia Hanley

Mo-Yccia Hanley

by marlies|dekkers

Pirate: Jacquotte Delahaye

Embodied by: Mo-Yccia Hanley (model & equestrian)

I started horseback riding when I was 4 years old and I have been doing competitions since I was 8. One of the first things Marlies said to me during the shoot, was: “I can’t believe you’re only 18!”. But all those hours I’ve spent connecting and communicating with horses has made me wise beyond my years. Just think about it: when you are impatient and crabby, your horse will react to that and perform badly. It’s like having a mirror held up, constantly. I’m out there nearly every weekend, competing as a showjumper. And each time, I learn more about leadership, compassion and patience. I learn more about myself!

The first time I saw a picture of model Winnie Harlow, I was shocked. Here was this gorgeous woman, with the same skin condition I have: vitiligo. And she was totally owning and working it! I was just going through a difficult period; I was 12, 13 years old and desperately wanted to be ‘normal’. Every day, I thought: “Why can’t I be like the rest?”. But Winnie showed me how to take something that makes you different, and use it to your advantage. Just like pirate Jacquotte Delahaye with her flaming red hair.

For a model, I’m quite short: 1.67 m. But I make up for it by working really hard. I’m extremely driven. To do this shoot for Marlies was like a dream come true. And how fitting that I got to play someone who was an outsider, just like me! Listen, I’m not 100% there yet when it comes to self-acceptance. For most women, it’s an ongoing process, isn’t it? But I’m getting there. And I hope that with these pictures, I can inspire at least one girl to love and accept herself a little more.

Follow Mo-Yccia on Instagram.

 

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