“So... why are you in a wheelchair..?”
Hi! My names Abi. I’m a 24-year-old influencer and digital artist... I also happen to have a muscle wasting disease called Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. I wasn't always in a wheelchair. My mobility didn’t start to deteriorate until I was around 16 and I wasn’t diagnosed (or taken seriously) by doctors until I was 21. During this time I really struggled with the thought of possibly using a wheelchair. I thought my quality of life would plummet and I wouldn’t be able to cope with my new found disabled self. I had to look into why I thought this, and how society treats disabled people as a whole. Disability is often treated as a “dirty” word. Something to avoid. I want to change that. I want others with disabilities to feel comfortable in their own skin and to not compare themselves to others. We are unique and we are beautiful. Just. How. We. Are.
I’ve always been pretty candid when it comes to my disability, and that means posting about it on social media. When I became a wheelchair user, I started to post pictures in my chair. I was surprised to receive messages from other followers saying how it made them feel more comfortable, and that they loved seeing another chair user on their Instagram feed. This made me think about how little disabled people are shown in the media, and when we are shown it’s always a portrayal of sadness and little-to-no self love. I want to show others that disabled people can be happy, sexy and fashionable. I want to change how others see disability.