I think feminism and sexuality have the potential to be complicated when you have a disability. Know that being blind doesn’t stop you from creating something that is visually beautiful, sexy, and strong.~Rachael Storey
Blind Beauty 73 | Rachael Storey
Rachael Storey’s quote is a call to action for all of us regardless of our abilities or disabilities. Changing the way we view ourselves and others is the first step to breaking down barriers. For me, her quote is a personal reminder to continue broadening my viewpoints.
The idea that a person with a disability is broken, or cannot live a fulfilling life is outdated. Why can’t we just accept that ‘we’ (abled and disabled) are valuable beings as we are?
Rachael, a talented para-pole dancer, aerialist, and adventurer is an amazing example of someone living a limitless life. She’s also challenging us to change the way we think about people with disabilities and their capabilities.
Losing Sight Opened Mind
One of the most difficult lessons I’m still learning is how to broaden my thinking. What I find interesting about this concept is how it correlates to my blindness. As a natural-born myope (nearsighted person), I’ve always had blurry sight and could not see objects in the distance. Thankfully, for most of my life, corrective lenses fixed this problem by bringing my vision into focus and allowing me to see further.
Since I was keenly aware of how myopia (or my eyes) worked, seeing objects up close made sense to me. On the other hand, I never understood how hyperopia (farsightedness) worked. I mean, how can someone see in the distance yet not see close up? Just thinking about this theory would make my head spin.
Sailing through life with corrected vision was my normal. Never in a million years did I think I would lose my sight. I’d simply continue getting a new lens prescription every year, or so I thought. When I began having issues that threatened to steal my sight I wanted nothing more than to hold onto it. I couldn’t imagine life without sight, it was all I knew.
Correcting Myopic Thinking
You may have heard the term myopic being used to describe a person who is narrow-minded. This type of individual cannot metaphorically ‘see’ beyond their point of view. It’s really sad when you wake up one day and realize ‘you’ (meaning ‘me’) are this person.
Before I lost my sight, I thought blindness was all-encompassing darkness—to me, it meant no sight. I was wrong.
Connecting with so many people from all around the world has opened my eyes to so many things. I no longer believe in the ‘one size fits all’ approach to anything. Especially where people are concerned, we need to expand our thinking. Placing our limitations on anyone regardless of ability or disability is unjust. I like the following quote from Rachael’s Facebook page:
The basic stigmas of disabilities, more specifically visual impairments, lead to the misconceptions about what we can actually do. The truth is even without a disability everybody learns at different paces and in various different ways. What works for one might not work for another.~Rachael Storey
When it comes to facing our personal biases it’s not a one and done type situation. It’s a constantly evolving process that requires us to first acknowledge our prejudices. After acknowledgment then we must actively work daily towards positive change through awareness, understanding, and finally acceptance.
Blind Beauty 72 | Rachael Storey Featured Image Description:
Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Rachael’s image on the cover is black & white. In this photo, Rachael is upside down on a hoop suspended in the air. Blocks of text superimposed on Rachael’s photo are: “Bold–She Keeps Pressing Onward, Blind–She Has Deeper Insight, Beautiful–She Sees To The Heart Of Others.” “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” “Makeup Trends for 2019–How To Maintain A Flawless Look”
- Rachael Storey Practicing – Rachael is practicing on a bright pink pole. She is upside down with her arms extended below her head as her body arcs almost in a ‘C’ formation.
- Rachael Performing On A Trapeze – This is a black and white photo similar to the featured image. In this
pictureRachael is doing a upsidedown pose with arms outstretched.