Cloaked In Confidence

And Her Name is Abigail

Abigail
Abigail

Back in November I updated Bold Blind Beauty’s brand identity and as part of the process I wrote an article, This Dazzling Dame Needs A Name, to solicit names for my fabulous white cane icon. Many of you replied via the blog, email, and Facebook – Thank you all!! 💖

While I received many great names from which to choose I decided to go with Abigail because I loved this thought process behind the name: “A play on Abilities, and Nightingale (the small bird that’s known for its beautiful song) – since it looks like she is wearing a divine feather dress.” This entry was received from fellow blogger, contributor, and friend, Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty. Thanks Glenda!

So Why Does She Need A Name?

The short answer is because Abigail could be anyone of us (male or female). She carries a white cane which to some represents weakness, dependence, and helplessness when in fact it is a symbol of strength, independence, and power.

All of us, have our “white cane” that thing that can sometimes hinder us from reaching our full potential, other times it comforts us in complacency, and then there’s those times that we accept what others project on to us because they don’t understand our situation.

It’s hard to believe that even in the year 2016 we as a society still cannot come to grips with disAbilities and the people who live with them. As the largest minority group in the world, and the only one where anyone can become a member at any given moment, the discrimination and mistreatment of this group is mind-boggling.

This post is not about the many issues concerning disAbilities rather the focus is on Abilities. You see, Abigail who’s stepping forward with purpose, is an image of confidence. She’s been through some things yet she can still hold her head up high and live life on her terms.

Abigail is an excellent example of “things aren’t always as you might want them to appear.” Did you see what I did there? “As you might want them” or as “you think they should be” is a presumption. When we think like this, and we all do, we are projecting onto another our perceptions rather than being open to idea that we are uninformed.

This quote by a friend of mine, Libby Thaw, sums up this thinking:

Everybody, including people with disabilities, makes assumptions. Problems arise when we are not open to learning our assumption was wrong.

Many times life is difficult and though living with disabilities is not easy this does not equate to being unable. We must continually remind ourselves that everyone is unique with their own set of strengths, weaknesses, and gifts.

The idealistic part of me hopes that Abigail’s image, along with her story, will help to alter the way people view people with disabilities on a whole and more specifically those with vision impairments. Yes, she has some functional vision and uses a white cane to navigate the world safely so that she can make a difference!

I was 17 years old, all odds against me, I heard the 2nd place winner breathing down my back, literally, I couldn’t see, I just ran. I ran from the pain, anger, and obstacles. I won, I placed second in the nation in the 55 meters.  ~Abigail

Stay tuned as Abigail’s story unfolds…

Looking for some inspiration? Check out Bold Blind Beauty’s Facebook page for daily quotes from Women on the Move.

Author: Steph McCoy

Hi I'm Steph, a businesswoman, style setter, blogger, and abilities crusader who breaks the myth that “blind people can’t be fashionable.” “It’s about walking boldly with confidence, transcending barriers and changing the way we perceive blindness”

38 thoughts on “Cloaked In Confidence”

    1. I agree Paul. But it was hard coming face to face with my own inaccurate assumptions because I just hated the thought of having to use the cane. There are still days when I’m just so tired but then I remind myself of the negative stereotypes and I just push through it.

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      1. I remember my dad when he was told he’d have to use a walker. He looked so depressed when hearing that, and the idea of having to use a walker to get around, hurt his pride—retired WW II veteran. I think I can understand trying to wrap my head around the idea of it only being a tool to help get around and do what needs to be done. But I also feel the stigma that may be attached to the idea, and it gives me pause. How you handle that—and the fatiguing aspects of it—is very impressive to me, Stephanae.

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      2. My mother also uses a walker (has done so for many years). She could get around easier in a wheelchair but she can’t get past having to use this type of mobility device and so she’s practically a hermit. I so wish we could find a way to get past the stigma associated with tools that can allow a person to live a rich and rewarding life. Thank you Paul for this very thought filled comment.

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  1. Oh Steph. This post made me cry. I hate that I let myself feel so vulnerable, weak, and dependent when I walk with my cane. I keep trying to banish that talk from my head, but it doesn’t often work. Thank you for all you do and for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kerry, I could just hug you!! Many times I feel the same way as you and then I remind myself of why I do what I do. Just the other day my son and I were out at the grocery and pharmacy stores and he got so irritated with the people who were staring and at one point he corrected one person and told them “it’s only a cane.” While I appreciate him coming to my defense (by the way I’m glad I’m not always aware of people staring) I told him they were staring at the person using the cane because they don’t understand the reason why. When I remind myself that I will not accept what others project onto me then I feel strong and can be like Abigail “holding my head up high.” It’s a day by day and sometimes minute by minute thing but it’s critical to my well being.

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      1. LOL. If you follow our blogs, we mention each other from time to time. I think having a fierce icon to identify with just helps our cause and gives us strength. I post about who has joined, so if you like, I will add you to our little (unofficial) club. You are a warrior…I knew that when I read the first one of your blogs!

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  2. That’s a great comment by Libby. Taking disabilities completely out of the equation for a moment all of us make assumptions…shortly afterwards followed by discomfort when we find we should be admitting they were incorrect and/or even harmful assumptions. That’s daily. Then you bring disabilities back into the mix…and it only makes things worse for all concerned. It is mind-boggling we actually had debate and rancor over creating the Americans with Disabilities Act in the first place. A cane is a “crutch” only for those who choose to view it through that limited, bigoted prism. A cane is a “tool” for those who view it otherwise,,,a tool for successfully navigating and making a true difference in the world.

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    1. Thank you Bruce. The Libby comment spoke so loudly to me the other day when I shared it on social media and I felt it fit in very nicely with this post. And yes a cane, wheelchair, walker, telescopic glasses, prosthetic devices, all are tools. What blows my mind are the numbers of people who think people with white canes “who look like they can see” are faking. I mean who in their right mind would intentionally use this type of device unless it was necessary? I just have to shake my head.

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