Mercedes Scelba-Shorte and Lupus

Mercedes Scelba-Shorte, professionally known as Mercedes Yvette, is best known for being a contestant and finalist on season two of America's Next Top Model, a reality modeling competition hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks.

Mercedes Yvette
 Vivien Killilea / Getty Images

Lupus Diagnosis

Scelba-Shorte was diagnosed with lupus in 2003 during her junior year of college while competing on "America's Next Top Model." She was already quite familiar with the disease, as her grandmother had passed away from complications with lupus.

Her diagnosis didn't come immediately. Scelba-Shorte experienced symptoms a few years before being diagnosed, including extreme fatigue and joint pain. In an interview with, she reveals that her joint pain was so severe she couldn't unscrew a jar of peanut butter.

After receiving such a serious diagnosis, it would have been easy for Scelba-Shorte to fall into a cycle of self-pity and adopt a "woe is me" attitude. Instead, she decided to become an advocate for her health and take her well-being into her own hands by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Scelba-Shorte struggled with her diagnosis during filming for America's Next Top Model. Her medication was making her hair fall out, and she kept her condition a secret from the other contestants. Eventually, she revealed that she has lupus.

Modeling Career

After placing second on America's Next Top Model, Scelba-Shorte became a spokesperson for the Lupus Foundation of America, helping to launch the organization's first campaign and raising funds for research. She signed with Nous Model Management and her career hit the ground running. She's appeared in a number of magazines, including Wedding Dresses, Teen Vogue, Lupus Now, Arthritis Today, and LA Yoga.

She's walked the runway for DSquared2, Rock & Republic, John Sakalis, Lloyd Klein and Enyce, and has appeared in advertisements for Payless ShoeSource, Sears, Skechers, Target, Kohl's, Halston, Mederma, Crocs, and Bud Light. Her commercial credits include Chili's, Dr. Pepper, Mentos, JCPenney, Chevy, and Visit California. She also has starred in a number of small roles in television shows, including The Bold and the Beautiful, One on One, and All of Us.


Scelba-Shorte is still a spokesperson for the Lupus Foundation of America. She is currently signed with Brand Model and Talent, Industry Model Management and Flick East-West Talents. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

2 Sources
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  1. LinkedIn. Mercedes Yvette.

  2. IMDb. Mercedes Scelba-Shorte.

By Jeri Jewett-Tennant, MPH
Jeri Jewett-Tennant, MPH, is a medical writer and program development manager at the Center for Reducing Health Disparities.