From ever since I was a little girl, I innately knew my soul holds all the power, wisdom, beauty, magic and truth. This is why I never "felt" disabled. I always knew I was "more than a body". My body could not define me. My beauty is not bound to flesh and bones. Of course I experienced moments in my life where I felt completely disempowered, detached, unconfident and not at one in mind, body and soul... I now realize the issue was never about me and how I truly felt about my body, but how society made me feel about my body. When you are visibly disabled, you are often made to feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed about your body. YOUR BODY IS NOT AN APOLOGY. Step in your power and say "THIS IS WHO I AM". Let nothing or no-one tell you otherwise. Be so at peace with your body, that no bad words, negative comments or fearful stares can stop you from feeling beautiful, confident and fabulous!!
Perfection has had it's day
In this media driven society, we are all under so much pressure to look a certain way, be a certain way and have this incredible, wealthy, healthy, successful life. None of this equals happiness. The pursuit of perfection will never equal happiness. Why? Because perfection does not exist. As disabled people, we can never be "perfect" in the eyes of society. Since the beginning of time we have been seen as less than, unequal and unable - like outcasts rather than inmates of society. It's time to show the world what it means to be disabled in 2018! We are not done in, done for, wrecked, maimed, lamed, out of action, broken and powerless like the Thesaurus describes us. We are strong, resilient, courageous, worthy, beautiful, creative, powerful human beings who have gifts to share, who deserve to take up space in this world, who deserve representation across all types of media - in the fashion and beauty industries, who deserve full and equal access in the world! Do not like society strip you of your beauty and power.
Reaching for the stars
Earlier this month, I became the first disabled model to be featured in a Primark Campaign. The image received over 114k likes on their Instagram page - the highest liked post ever! I feel so proud and excited to be part this much needed change in society. We have made some slow progress, but there is still a long way to go. Ten years ago when I first started modeling, there were no models out there like me, definitely not in the mainstream! I remember seeing a video of a model - she said "New York Fashion Week would rather burn down than see a disabled model on their runway". This comment only made me more determined. I knew this wasn't about me, but for every single disabled person out their in the world longing "to be seen", like REALLY SEEN. When it comes to diversity in fashion, disability is the last barrier to break. Diversity is the new beauty ideal. More than anything, I seek to be a role model to disabled people seeking confidence, empowerment, self belief and self love. I want to prove that everything and anything is possible, as long as you believe in yourself, work hard, stay true to yourself and NEVER EVER GIVE UP. Dreams do come true. Your dreams are valid. One of my goals is to be made the face of a huge fashion or beauty brand (or both!!) I want my soul to be seen and my body to be embraced and celebrated. To shine my light so brightly, others can help but to ignite their own. Spread the love and light on a global scale. The sky is not the limit when there is a whole universe beyond. This is only the beginning.