Life is sometimes very tough. We often think our journey is far more difficult than others and feel like giving up. When I feel like this, I look to fellow petite Cait McMahan, where I know I will find strength, inspiration and encouragement.
Cait and I have known of each other, since we were young. Even though we never officially met until I graduated high school, we most certainly were aware of one another.
Everybody knows everyone in East Tennessee, which is how I not only knew she was a great basketball player, but that her mom had been battling breast cancer, since Cait was 5 and her parents were getting a divorce.
GIRLS GOT GAME
I had been signed to the University of Kentucky to play basketball and she committed to the University of Tennessee when I approached her at a team camp. We had an immediate connection. She admitted to having cut out my basketball articles for inspiration when she was younger. Most importantly we shared the same heart of passion and fight!
Part of that fight came from growing up in a world of playing sports with boys all the time. The other part of that fight came from both of us being about 5’5 (say it with me ..PETITE).
PETITES VS. AMAZONS: TEARING DOWN THE STANDARDS
This allowed us to understand how hard each other had to work to reach the goal we shared, in order to play for a top notch D1 basketball team. In women’s college basketball there are very few scholarships awarded to players under 5’7, similar to modeling contracts! In fact, the average player we faced during our college careers was 5’9 plus, most teams having at least 4 players over 6’3 and only one player under 5’7. Sounds like the fashion world, right?
*Check out what Babi Mac has to say about Bella Petite “It’s an honor to be recognized by anybody but especially Bella Petite because they are breaking down old standards and fighting for our place in the industry! I was happy to join Bella Petite and may even show my support through a shout out in one of my songs!
By the time Cait started college her and I were very close, which allowed me to witness what real strength is. During Cait’s first week at the University of Tennessee her mother Teresa was given 6 months to live. She lived for ten months and saw Cait win a National Championship.
DEALING WITH LOSS
Even the devastation of losing her mother would not keep her down! I was amazed to see her taking over her mother’s house, helping her brother, going to school full time for Communication Studies and playing on back to back National Championship basketball teams. I knew basketball was a great outlet for Cait and was ecstatic to see her living out her dreams, as a starting point guard in 2009. Then more bad news ambushed Cait.
Doctors informed Cait that her knee could not handle the pounding of basketball any longer. What was left of her world came crashing down in an instant. I felt her pain like knives in my heart, I was terrified she would turn to something destructive like drugs, but she didn’t. I never quite understood how she held herself together until she came to visit me on the set for a short film I was doing on Tybee Island.
ENCOURAGEMENT AND INSPIRATION
This is when I heard a song she wrote and recorded at a home studio. Come to find out, in high school she used to sit by her mom’s bed after practice and write rap songs to instrumentals. Tears flowed down my face as I heard the lyrics about her mother losing the battle to cancer. It amazed me that the message was not one of defeat! Her mom inspired the song she wrote called “Not Over.” I was extremely touched and impressed by her skills. I encouraged her to record it professionally. To help I contacted a photographer friend of mine to set up a photo shoot for her to put an image with her sound.
Cait’s fortitude and talent was recognized earning her a contract by Independent label, SwiperBoy Entertainment. Now she has recorded two songs, “Not Over” & “Bad Chick-Lovin It”. In less than three months her two Youtube videos have already received almost 15K hits, impressive responses, and she recently co-hosted on ESPN radio discussing sports and her music. As if all of this isn’t enough, Babi Mac is also a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.
Some people say, “surely she can’t make it in the music industry as a rapper, she is a white female,” but those are people who don’t know what challenges in life she has already overcome. Cait took down the height standards in the basketball world, battled cancer alongside her mom and dealt with many difficult personal losses.
Cait is an inspiration for all women and especially for me personally! She exemplifies the mentality of “When life gets tough. Don’t give up…Step up”. My money is on Babi Mac!
Written By: Angela Philips
Bella Petite Model Angela: “I would subscribe to Bella Petite Magazine whether there is a model search or not because this isn’t just about me personally, it’s much bigger than a myself or model search. This magazine gives so many women like myself a place to get inspiration, fashion for us, information, support, and most importantly, a voice.”
Get a magazine you identify with, subscribe today! We are ushering in a new breed of models and beauty. Our mission is to cover issues that are important to you.