DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Disabled, but feeling supernormal!

Amputee

Marit Smit

Disabled. That’s what I am (officially). I was born without a left hand, so I get called disabled. It’s not that I feel like that! Anything but really. When I think about myself, I think of a girl with blonde hair who has a passion for volleyball, fashion, and so much more. But when I look around me, I realize that I really am different.
 

I notice it most when it gets summertime. My missing hand is no longer covered in layers and layers of fabric and a big fluffy winter coat. In a top without sleeves you can see everything, including my missing hand. And all of a sudden I realize how different I am. People start looking at me again. Some look carefully (and quickly look away once they see that I see ;p), others just gaze without any sign of embarrassment. In some weird way I get it. I mean, I AM different, so of course people look. In general baby’s get born with two hands…

Being different is still weird...


But still, I’m sad about it. It’s sad that apparently we’re so not used to seeing something different, that we look when someones missing a hand, or sits in a wheelchair, or whatever else there is different about a person. I wish it would be normal to be different. Because really… No one is the same right? Aren’t we all different? And don’t we all want to be different from the crowd? We all try so hard to be!


I think this happened because of the media. There’s a certain image we see in movies, series, books, magazines and online. For a long time I thought that there were no disabled people in history, for all I saw in my history books and in history movies and series were perfect, pretty white girls. When I thought about princesses living in castles I never once thought about one without her left hand, or in a wheelchair. Why? Well, have you ever seen one in a book or movie? So then... is it weird that I thought this way?  

Of course this issue goes way deeper. I never see disabled models in the fashion industry, which is weird, because I know for sure that there are plenty who love fashion. I also know that there are a lot more women that feel excluded, different. Colored women have been battling for their spot in the fashionworld for years, and so have ‘plus-size’ models.

We need change so we can be normal!

As long as disabled, 'different' people wont have a place in the media, I’m not feeling normal enough. Even with my husband, and my little house, and my ordinary job… I don’t feel normal enough. People still stare, and they still ask weird questions… So until the day that I really can be disabled and normal, I will fight for disabled people to get their rightful place in the spotlight. 

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