Repost @rvbyallegra ••UNAPOLOGETIC••
I've had a storm in my mind over the last few days. Conflicting emotions; some good, some not. I thought hard about whether I wanted to actually post this full image from the @underneath_we_are_women campaign.
I'm smiling in this photo - I think it's a wonderful portrayal of my personality and general attitude. I was smiling, but I was also terrified as this was being shot. As much confidence as I may exude and portray to the world in my everyday life, the reality is I've harboured quite strong feelings of resentment toward my own body for a lot of my life. Feelings, I think, which are a reflection of society's deeply internalised attitude towards the disabled body; that it is unattractive, undesirable, shameful, broken and that it should be changed, fixed or covered up. When I note that it's not in fact my stomach or my arms or my hips that I find it difficult to look at, or that I'm wearing almost nothing, some people may be surprised. It's my legs and feet. They're swollen as a result of lipoedema and look different because of my disability. I've been very good at hiding them from the world for years.
Facing the pressures placed upon women to conform to idealised standards of beauty has been somewhat easier for me than it has been for me to live in this world as a woman with a physical disability.
This is why I have decided to post this picture. It needs to be seen. I wish, as a little girl, I had seen something like this. A disabled role model telling me that I was allowed to love myself, that I didn't have to hide, be ashamed of or apologise for my body. That I existed. I had to figure this out (for the most part) on my own, and at times it was incredibly lonely, traumatising and isolating.
This shoot was incredibly liberating and has taken me a step further toward my self acceptance and ability to live unapologetically in this body and in this life. 💕🌿✨🐬
Thankyou @amydfoto for pushing me to do this. You can learn more about and support her campaign here: