Kanya Amberlee Sesser is a model with a difference – she was found abandoned in Thailand as a baby, born with no legs.
So how has the 25-year-old – who currently resides in Los Angeles – made such an ‘independently, happy’ and successful life for herself?
I won’t refer to Kanya as disabled as it’s a term she refuses to acknowledge, instead, referring to herself as ‘uniquely different’.
Kanya was found in Pak Chong, northeastern Thailand, on the side of a road in a grassy field.
The men and women who came across her, unwrapped Kanya from her blanket and discovered she had no legs – there was no scarring or evidence of any medical procedures so, throughout her life, she’s has assumed she was born this way. Kanya has no official documents either.
Speaking to UNILAD, Kanya recalled her abandonment:
I was told, when I was abandoned, in the distance there was a younger looking woman, aged around 18-20 years old.
Apparently, she was not from the area, but was looking over towards me in a ‘motherly way’. Not long after, she’s said to have got the train back into town, so I think this was possibly my mother?
Growing up, ‘uniquely different’, it would have been understandable if Kanya had shut herself away from the world – one which is seemingly full of trolls and bullies who find some sort of solace at the expense of others.
Instead, the 25-year-old has an unequivocally positive outlook on her life, telling UNILAD:
I honestly don’t use the term ‘disabled’, more like uniquely different. Disabled to me seems like a word which prevents you being what you are.
I can still can move and walk on hands. Being born with what you don’t have and having to go through life challenges you in your own ways.
I was born without legs so I have to make my life in my own way – out of my own perspective through the reality.
Unfortunately, Kanya has experienced trolls and bullies throughout her life, but refuses to give in to their narrow-minded views:
You can’t let people, who are small-minded with negative energy or mind set, or problems or any different reasoning, affect your life.
No one can change the way they think or the way they are and so I accept that. It’s okay. Life goes on.
My adopted family have been here to support me and help me strive to accomplish my goals. Without them, I wouldn’t have as many blessings as I do now.
I love them and thank them everyday for what they have done for me. They’re very open-minded people, with free spirits, who accept me for what I do.
Kanya describes herself as an ‘extroverted type of person’ and therefore finds it easy to make friends.
Despite being single, she’s dated in the past but reveals there isn’t anything different when it comes to her particular situation.
She continued to UNILAD:
When it comes to dating, people know what they’re getting themselves into and understand the capabilities – how things will be different or change when you date someone who has a different lifestyle.
It’s just like everything else – you have to adapt to things and make sure you’re comfortable in the situation you’re getting yourself into.
Don’t let other people destroy you in a negative way that puts you down mentally. Ignore the ignorant and the small minded.
Don’t let anyone talk you down.
Kanya has a successful modelling career, something she’s worked toward since the age of 15 and yet, despite it’s success, the Thai-native doesn’t plan on this being her main source of income in the future.
She continued telling UNILAD:
I wasn’t planning to have modeling as my main way of making a living. I just love doing it because I want to change the beauty standards.
I want to show how modelling is a work of art. Like a photograph, it projects onto the canvas expressing people’s personalities.
Modelling is not the main thing I do for a living. It’s not my main priority. I want to be a motivational speaker.
In terms of paving the way for a new type of model, Kanya has her sights firmly set on the top and has some inspiring words, concluding:
I think if we can all come together as one, as different individuals, regardless of shape, colour or size, it’ll be a different yet comfortable situation to be in.
I draw attention for people who’ve never seen the different oddities and the unknown. I’m unusual for society’s eyes, especially within the beauty and modeling world.
The modeling industry can be a very competitive world. It’s a very hard industry for anyone to get into because there’s certain things they’re looking for to be accepted.
As for runway modelling, I think besides putting in more plus sized models, there needs to be a runway showcasing models who are in wheelchairs, as well as all kinds of people with unique differences.
We should see more of people who are living everyday life.
This women motivates me. Her story and just herself inspires me. Such a genuine friend and kinda life coach to me. I can tell that her and I kinda have the same spiritual energy. Aiming for the stars! Trying to get to her levels of workout and dieting hahaha check her Instagram @tiphanyadams send her some love and if you want more fitness inspiration. Lol You’re such a sweet soul and strong women, I’m glad I can call you my friend. ???#girlpower #womenempowerment #nolegsnolimits #courage #strength #goals #fitness #gold #golden
Kanya is an extremely motivated individual who’s lust for life is an example we could all use.
Her message is simple, yet inspiring:
I don’t see life as a problem living without legs. I see it as, ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’. I can find my way to adapt.
Be yourself. Focus on yourself and make yourself better than yesterday. Don’t take life too seriously and don’t blow it off like it’s nothing.
What an incredible individual!
A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it’s animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.