Hand Differences and Beauty
[image of a 20 year old Sarah dressed up and looking off camera and over her shoulder]
A young girl, maybe 13, who also had a hand difference was asking me about my experiences with a limd difference. I was maybe 20 at the time, (the same age as me in this photo) and well before my disability pride.
Then she looked at me, and with such raw hurt and raw truth she asked me "But, how do you feel beautiful when you have limb difference?" I knew she didnt feel beautiful, I knew that she felt this was a mark of shame and embarrassment. I knew this, because I felt it too.
When we live in a world where our differences are attacked, and stereotypes and looked down on as subhuman.
When we hear words such as "deformed" "ugly" "gross” “I don't want to touch it" as a young person, these words sting. It is so much easier to try to hide than to take a stand and be proud. I was still hiding at 20.
But looking at her, and she was looking up at me. Her words hit me so hard, how can I tell her that the story in my head is "you are worthless, you are a clearance item” I couldnt, she challenged me to change that narrative within myself.
Here's to changing the narrative on disability!! Here's to our youth being proud of who they are from day one.
Here's to building a more inclusive society, we all need it.