The Ugly Beautiful and Other Failings of Disability Representation
Those who spend their lives in bodies others deem unworthy grow accustomed to building our own self-worth.
It is deeply troubling for able-bodied people to learn that we find beauty and pride in ourselves, not in how we can most align with what nondisabled people think human bodies and minds should look like.
Often, though, this kind of reclamation is associated specifically with glamour and conventional beauty; Lauren Wasser, the model with the golden legs, or Mama Cax, a fierce Haitian model with cheekbones that could cut glass and a collection of stunning, bold prosthetic limbs, often in bright patterns and colors, sometimes minimalist and fierce, other times elaborate and lacy. Any one of them costs more than most amputees can afford.
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What’s terrifying about Spears’s situation, for a certain kind of disabled person, is that we are a razor’s edge away from joining her.
Beds transmute into a form of policing while simultaneously being promoted as an alternative to policing.
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Experiencing a severe reaction to medication taught me many interesting things about the limits of my own body, but also the limits of the world around me.
Disability ruins everything, these stories tell us: disability itself is tragedy. These people’s lives are over, apparently, even though they are palpably still here.
There are entire lines of therapy that basically boil down to “learn self-control so you never upset the sane.”