Of all the amazing things that have happened as a result of my viral tweet to the trolls, the thing I’m most proud of is that we’ve started a conversation about beauty and disability! We live in a society that doesn’t usually put those two things together, but WE’RE DOING IT and I couldn’t be happier!! Take that, trolls…
I’m so honored that I got to write about this for HuffPost Personal! I’d wanted to pitch them for awhile, but kept putting it off for some reason. Luckily, my amazing writer friend Tamara kept gently encouraging me, and, well, I thought that a piece about one aspect of my viral tweet might be just the perfect story for them.
Thankfully, the editor felt the same and accepted my piece a couple hours after I turned in the draft.
Wrestling with my own self-confidence and beauty is a big part of my story and something tells me that my journey is only just beginning! Again, take THAT trolls!
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I (try!) to give a solid argument for why it’s so important to actually celebrate disabilities and not act like they’re such a bad thing…
Growing up, the mirror often felt like my biggest enemy. I’d see myself, see my wheelchair, see my deformed hands and think, Maybe I am just ugly. Most of my scars were hidden under my clothes, but that didn’t matter because I could still feel them. I was so certain people would be repulsed by them in the same way I was for most of my teenage years.
In that one tweet, I owned my beauty. For the first time in my life, I felt worthy and deserving. In less than 280 characters, I found the sense of self-confidence I’d been looking for since those days spent analyzing myself in front of the mirror.
That tweet also brought disabilities and beauty together ― two things we don’t typically associate with each other. That tweet showed the world that those two things can exist together and that disabilities can be beautiful.
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo