OTHERS

Learning to Love My Body with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC)

Madeline Irwin

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.

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