I debated about posting this photo. I hate photos being taken of me. If you know me, I know what you’re probably thinking. “She posts selfies!” But there’s a difference. I can hide my body in selfies. I can hide my spinal curve a lot more in a selfie than I can in a photo like this.
Let me be honest. I’ve hated myself, I’ve hated my appearance and quite often I still do. I compare myself to other people constantly. Sometimes I wonder if I’d feel prettier if I didn’t look this way. I could sit here and list everything I see wrong with these photos.
It’s really difficult to be a young adult in this era. There are so many ideas of what beautiful looks like, but disabled? We aren’t portrayed in the media as that. Every single time I turn on the TV, read a magazine or go on social media, there is little representation of disabled people. So many young people like myself go through life thinking they aren’t good enough because of the media, and let me tell you, it really fucking sucks.
Disabled people need more representation in the media. Disabled characters on TV shows and movies aren’t often played by disabled actors. These actors play the part for a few hours and at the end of the day, they get to take off the makeup and costume and go home. For us? It’s a lifetime. We wake up as we are, go to sleep as we are. We don’t get a break.
I hope that someday disabled people are actually represented in the media and magazines, and that another young person doesn’t have to question whether they’re beautiful or good enough because of the unrealistic shit you see everywhere.
I’m slowly learning and trying to love who I am, to accept it all. But this shit is hard.