“When we are out here living our lives, we are bold. We are embracing our blindness. We are blind and we’re beautiful.”
Last year was tough. My best friend was diagnosed with cancer, another very good friend died unexpectedly, and I had to deal with some significantly unresolved fears. Yet among these struggles, there were always glimmers of light; standing up for my friend, continuing the work my other friend believed in so deeply, and coming to terms with myself.
One of the best gifts I received last year was a connection with Tony Koros at Grotto Network and the opportunity to share part of my story. Here is the video he created along with the transcript (below). Thank you, Tony, for spending my birthday with me and working with me to film this footage. And thank you Grotto Network for making this possible!💛
Blind Blogger Transforms Perceptions of Beauty
Meet Stephanae McCoy: Blind Beauty Blogger
Stephanae: Beauty is seldom associated with blindness. Beauty is seldom associated with disabilities, or people with disabilities. I wanted to change that.
I was looking in the mirror and I took out my right contact lens. I’m looking up in the mirror and all of a sudden, because I still had my left contact lens in, my face was gone. There was just no face. I’m like, “Whoa.” My whole feeling about the process of going blind was: If I’m going to lose my sight, I’m going to do it my way.
We can do anything that we want to do, provided we’re given the tools to do it or we learn a different way of doing it.
Stephanae created a blog called “Bold Blind Beauty.” The blog celebrates blind and visually impaired people, and shares Stephanae’s tips on makeup, style, and beauty.
(Applying makeup in a mirror)
Most of the time I’m not even in a mirror when I’m doing this, but old habits die hard. Even when you can’t see, when you can no longer see, you still want to use a mirror sometimes. At least I do.
For me, becoming embarrassed by other people standing around watching me is huge. When I’m in an unfamiliar area, sometimes, even though I’ve been using a cane now for years and I feel like I’ve built up my confidence and I feel like I’ve got this thing down, I sometimes get so overwhelmingly afraid that I panic.
We need to change the way we look at people with disabilities. The way we’re doing it now, we’re looking at the tools that they use to become independent, but we’re seeing them as a crutch, as opposed to a tool of independence.
I created Bold Blind Beauty so that we could change the perception of how we view people, period. I just would like to see us be a more inclusive world for everyone and accept people as we really are, stripping away the outside and getting to the heart of who we are as people.
But when we are out there and we are living our lives, we are bold. We are embracing our blindness. We are blind and we’re beautiful. We’re beautiful because we’re out here doing that, living our lives.
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A selfie of me taken in the doorway to my condo, sporting my stubbly bald head. I’m wearing a black v-neck tee that says “Warrior Life” in white text.