Beyoncé has been applauded for breaking the mould with her latest ad campaign. The singer, 34, cast Jillian Mercado, a model who has muscular dystrophy, to promote merchandise for her new single Formation.
Jillian, 28, who has modelled for Diesel Jeans in the past, announced her latest assignment on Instagram, admitting she is excited to be working alongside the R&B superstar.
Jillian Mercado stars in Beyoncé's latest fashion shoot
Referencing Beyoncé's track, Jillian wrote: "OK LADIES now let's get in FORMATION. 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." In the campaign shot Jillian can be seen posing in a sweatshirt with the lyrics: "I twirl on them haters." When the single was dropped last month it sparked huge conversation all over the world thanks to its references to race, gender, class and sexuality and how they are represented in the US.
It appears this is just the beginning of Jillian's exciting career, after she signed with IMG Models last year. Although she is now making waves in front of the camera, she started off working at various fashion magazines while studying for a degree at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.
Jillian Mercado has modelled for for Diesel Jeans in the past
Following the huge reaction to her debut on Beyoncé's website, Jillian took to Twitter to voice her opinion over being labelled 'wheelchair-bound' in some reports.
She wrote: "All this press on my announcement on Bey's site is truly surreal & amazing. Now how about we fix that word bound… #learnsomethingneweveryday."
Speaking previously to Vogue about her blog, Manufactured 1987, Jillian admitted she's happy being a role model for other women. She explained: "When people – especially girls – tell me 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."