Christie Smith | Blind Beauty Issue 34
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the cause of Christie’s declining eyesight. “Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of eye problems that affect the retina.” ~American Academy of Ophthalmology
Freedom From Other’s Perceptions
“I “came out” on Instagram and openly shared my story for the world to see and join me in navigating the murky waters of RP. This was such a tremendous step for me because I never let people in on my secret shame and feelings of inadequacy due to my visual impairment and also because I worried so much about what people would think. Never again will I underestimate the greatness inside of me because of the limited thinking inside of others.” ~Christie Smith
Regardless of the reasons behind our sight loss coming terms with it can be a difficult process. Even though intellectually we know we did not cause our eye conditions many of us experience feelings of shame. In addition to adjusting to our fear of blindness and grief from loss, how we are perceived wreaks havoc on our psyche.
While I am thrilled people are opening up about sight loss we still have a long way to go. Since many don’t understand the spectrum of blindness, too many individuals living with sight loss are harassed. When seen using smartphones or reading a book people say we’re faking because we use a white cane. Imagine how it must feel to lose your sight then become a target for bullying because of incorrect assumptions?
It’s no wonder so many of us feel we need to hide our disability. We’d rather people think there is any number of things going on with us rather than sight loss. Just something to think about.
Blind Beauty Issue 34 Featured Image Description:
Featured image is a mock magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Christie’s cover photo is a stunning black and white image. Always smiling, in this photo, Christie’s hair is swept up from the right leaving the left side curly. She is also wearing large hoop earrings.