My friends, remember when I mentioned last week that I’d have a surprise this week? Over the weekend, I was thinking about having theme weeks every so often. What better way to kick off the first one than by going back to the foundation of my blog: My disability. So look for some posts this week in which I explore the ins and outs of my disability a bit more – and of course, in every honest way possible. Do you have any questions for me? I’d love to answer them, so feel free to email mellow1422 [at] aol [dot] com or Formspring me. Why does that sound so dirty…?
When I was little, one of my favorite activities was flipping through the JCPenney catalog. I’m not exactly sure why I enjoyed the simple activity so much, but I used to spend hours running my hands over the smooth pages and oohing and ahhing over the toys, clothes and just general shiny, happy people staring back at me.
Maybe I thought it was one giant magazine? Who knows, but I was always disappointed when I’d see only one or two models in wheelchairs. Sure, I suppose I should be glad my people are represented, but it seemed that all the people-in-wheelchair shots were reserved for the children’s section of the catalog. I’d rarely ever see a career woman in a blazer smiling in her wheelchair, or a stockbroker with his briefcase showing his pearly whites while seated.
That’s why I immediately fell in love with the work of Jes Sachse, a 25-year-old Canadian model and artist She, along with photographer Holly Norris, have launched the spoof project American Able as a way to show how invisible women with disabilities are in advertising and mass media in general. I just love how they describe the project:
Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’ In a society where sexuality is created and performed over and over within popular culture, the invisibility of women with disabilities in many ways denies them the right to sexuality, particularly within a public context.
And THE BEST PART? Jes has Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome too! Aren’t these shots great, friends? Check out the Web site for more info! xoxo