Through skateboarding, Brooklinn Khoury found joy, resilience, and the will to inspire thousands
Brooklinn Khoury’s life changed in an instant on Nov. 3, 2020. On what was supposed to be a day not unlike any other, the now 23-year-old model, skateboarder, and influencer unexpectedly fell victim to a vicious dog attack, which she survived with several facial injuries, including the loss of her upper lip. Immediately, she began a long road to recovery, including a series of extensive, ongoing surgeries and alterations to her life that required a great deal of physical and mental strength. Remarkably, she was ready to face the challenges head-on with a resilient spirit.
Just months before the attack, Khoury’s career was beginning to take off in both skateboarding and modeling, leading to major sponsorships and opportunities that even included a high-profile feature in Vogue. “Honestly, when I got into modeling, I never expected anything of it,” Khoury shares, speaking from her home in Los Angeles. “I was just so excited and can’t believe that I even got to do something like that.”
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Unfortunately, the attack occurred shortly after the opportunity, leaving Khoury feeling “lost” and uncertain if she could ever pursue modeling again. “With modeling, you’re basically getting paid for your face and image, so when I got into the attack, it [felt] like my worth was just based on how I looked or what society makes you think you should look like.”
With Khoury having to step away from modeling temporarily, she knew the only next step was to dive further into her love of skateboarding. “I remember being done with a doctor's appointment and thinking, 'Oh, my gosh, what do I do?' But then my dad was like, 'You can go one or two ways with this attack: A. feel sorry for yourself and be depressed, or B. get up the next day and do what makes you happy.'" She chose the latter, and skateboarding became the "true joy" she had been searching for.
[Courtesy of DC Shoes]
Skateboarding even more, she felt a "shift in perspective, and it essentially became her lifeline that provided a much-needed dose of optimism throughout her recovery. She says, “The coolest thing about skating is that I can come to the skatepark with stitches and blood oozing out of my face and nobody says anything.” So nowadays, weather permitting, Khoury skates every day and is making the most of life. “This was when all the doors began to open,” Khoury reveals. “DC Shoes reached out to me, and I was on top of the world. It’s really been the craziest two years of my life, finding happiness and self-love.”
Instead of quietly retreating from the public throughout her recovery, she chose to invite the entire internet to follow along with her experience in candid detail as a means to take agency over her situation and hopefully inspire hope in others. “There’s no reason for me to hide when I can be helping someone else,” Khoury says. While she admits that there have been several instances of negative, hateful people approaching her online out of pure cruelty, she is happy to say that she can mostly tune it out — especially with the overwhelming positivity that continues to be shown to her by so many others. “I’ve gotten numerous messages on Instagram, and that’s the reason why I keep posting. I could never imagine my life having an effect on someone else's. Yeah, it sucks that I’m going through this, but it has shaped me into the human I was supposed to become.”
[Courtesy of DC Shoes]
In becoming an inspiration to others, Khoury has become a champion of body positivity and outspoken about how she hopes brands and the media continue to rethink their standards of beauty. “Everyone is so beautiful in their own way. This is what the industry should look like,” Khoury says assertively. “It breaks my heart because I have felt like I don’t look like what they want, but it’s just not true. I really hope the industry will change because scars are important, and different bodies are important."
Regardless, she wants to make one thing clear to anyone who feels alienated by unfair beauty standards: “Whatever you are going through, it will get better.”
Today, things are definitely better for Khoury. In fact, she has a lot to celebrate as of late. She is currently riding a high after partaking in the compelling documentary series Push Your Own Story, presented by DC Shoes. For the premiere, the skater even got her very own party in Long Beach, California, and was able to celebrate her hard work and perseverance in the presence of her closest friends and supporters. “It was the best time. We rented out a space with a skate ramp, but really, I was happy to just hug so many people that I love that day,” Khoury says with a smile.
Khoury admits that watching the documentary for the first time was a powerful moment. “It sounds strange, but when I watched it, it was insane to realize that this was [actually] my life. It was amazing to see how much I’ve grown and how much things have changed.”
So, what’s next in her journey? “Just enjoying life," Khoury says. "I want to continue to share my story and help to inspire people. That’s my goal. Whatever it might be, so be it.”