Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Does Not Hold Me Back From Loving My Body
My name is Maddy and I am a 22 year old from Washington State. I was born with a disability called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. I didn’t know that I was disabled until I was about 6 or 7 years old. I didn’t accept this fact until I was 21 years old. I tried for a long time to hide my differences and pretend that I was not disabled. The stigma around being physically disabled is so negative that I didn’t want to be associated with that term. Now I have taken the word “disabled” and I use it to empower myself. Yes, I am disabled, and that is a huge part of who I am and I love that part of myself now. However, my disability doesn’t define me. It has taken me a very long time to accept and love my disabled body, but it was worth all of the tears and hard work to get to where I am.
Now, I am able to love my body and I don’t let anything hold me back anymore. I am a contestant in the Miss Washington USA pageant that will be going on this weekend, November 4th and 5th. I am competing to show everyone that no matter your body shape, no matter your ability or disability, you are allowed to love your body and to feel confident! Another reason that I am competing is because the disabled community has very little accurate representation in our society and I want to help change that. Every person deserves to know that they are beautiful in their own skin. That’s what I am fighting for.