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Blind Beauty 74 | Antonia Lliteras Espinosa

Blind Beauty 74 Featured Image Description is in the body of the post.

Blind Beauty 74 | Antonia Lliteras Espinosa

I was born with albinism, which caused me to be legally blind. Due to my lack of sight, I live in a world where bugs don’t exist, dust is something I only hear about but never see and everyone has flawless skin.

~Antonia Lliteras Espinosa

The Times They Are A Changin Rapidly

#1 Blind Beauty 74 image description is in the body of the post.
#1 Blind Beauty 74 | Antonia
Lliteras Espinosa

Aren’t we living in exciting times? I sometimes wonder what our ancestors would think if they could be here in this moment. Who would have thought we’d ever be untethered to a phone line? Or have the ability to connect with someone from around the world instantaneously? Heck, even receiving news almost as soon as it happens is almost miraculous in comparison with days gone by.

As an advocate, one of the things that really excites me is being here to see representation unfold. Just thinking about the logistics of tracking the numerous groups of people gives me heartburn. Can you imagine the group breakdowns? It’s enough to make your head spin.

Being one of the 15% of the world’s population who has a disability, seeing more representation is so empowering. When you have an online presence it’s even more so because you can meet so many more awesome people. Take today’s Blind Beauty, Antonia, for example. Prior to last week, I didn’t know this young woman. Yet thanks to Instagram, when I asked if I could share one of her posts, well, the rest is history.

The Beauty Of Unity

Since it’s out of the ordinary to see blind women on fashion magazine covers, I created Blind Beauty. Living the “be the change you wish to see” philosophy, I created this faux fashion magazine cover to highlight these women. As I’ve said since starting Bold Blind Beauty, “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.”

#2 Image description is in the body of the post.
#2 Antonia Lliteras Espinosa

There are so many beautiful people in our world and the real beauty is how we lift up one another. Following is the rest of Antonia’s quote:

Out of sight out of mind, right? I have been asked many times if there was a cure whether I would take it and, to be honest, I don’t think I would. It has taken me many years to get to where I am today, but I have learned to find joy through my other senses. I appreciate the beauty in the world just as much as the next person and my visual impairment has put me in a unique position where I get to experience the raw humanity that unites us all. I get to see people at their best because I am so vulnerable to others. If I were to suddenly gain my sight, I would miss out on all this and, let’s be honest, the world would be a much dirtier place!

~Antonia Lliteras Espinosa

Blind Beauty 74 Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Antonia’s image on the cover is black & white. In this photo, Antonia is standing in front of a tiled wall posing with her white cane. She looks fabulous in a lace cami, jeans, jacket, shades, and a handbag over her right shoulder. Blocks of text superimposed on Antonia’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”

Additional Images:

  1. This photo is a color image of the Featured Photo. The tiled wall is sort of a dark teal color. Antonia has a
    white/blonde stylish bob hairstyle. Her cami is white with a light blue jacket, blue jeans, and sparkling silver sneakers. Her white cane also has a bright pink handle.
  2. This photo shows Antonia sitting on a park bench. She’s wearing a vibrant royal blue top with a luxe velvet navy jacket with jeans and black flats. Her white cane is propped up against the bench. In the background parked vehicles and storefronts can be seen.

Connecting With Antonia:

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#TBT MyBlindStory: Blindness + Style = Confidence

MyBlindStory featured image description is in the body of the post.

#TBT MyBlindStory: Blindness + Style = Confidence

Below is a revised version of an article I wrote for BlindNewWorld back in 2016. I really appreciate looking back as it gives me an opportunity to see how far we’ve come. You can check out the original article here: #MyBlindStory.

Losing Sight Opened My Eyes

"MyBlindStory

Before I lost my eyesight, I thought blindness meant total darkness. I was wrong. The range of sight loss/blindness is enormous and differs greatly from one person to the next.

Sight loss is a major life-altering event and it takes some time to adjust. Thankfully, acclimation and acceptance are not only possible but we can also learn to thrive. With few exceptions, the things we loved and excelled at are still integral to who we are at our core.

Transitioning from having sight to blindness is a process aided by Personal Adjustment to Blindness Training. This training eases our transition by teaching us new ways to do everyday tasks.

Since my love of personal style began when I was young, sustaining it through sight loss was a necessity. So learning new makeup and styling techniques helped me to increase my confidence despite blindness. 

Being able to keep up my trademark polished image which contributes largely to who I am as an individual was huge. Little did I know when I began blogging that I would connect with so many other fashionable blind women throughout the world. Life lesson—style is not limited to those with sight or who are able-bodied.

Broadening Inclusion

MyBlindStory Image 2: In this photo, I have my white cane and my outfit (capris, tank, sneakers & hoodie) are in shades of gray. 
Image 2

Inclusion and accessibility are major issues of concern in every area of blind individual’s lives. As a sub-group within the largest minority group of People With Disabilities, blindness is a small segment. Even so in the US alone, there are about 21 million adults living with sight loss.

I think the misguided belief that ‘blind people don’t care about their appearance’ is a prominent reason behind our lack of portrayal. Looking at the beauty and fashion industry it’s not surprising to see so little representation of blindness. While we are making inroads to inclusion we can do better. For this reason, a growing number of blind fashionable women are blogging and vlogging on a range of beauty related topics.

Bold Blind Beauty, believes “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers” and as such, we needed a stylish icon to represent blind women. Abigale, the fashion icon, is a chic image that evokes power, independence, and confidence. She is a woman on the move stepping forward with purpose as she navigates the world with her white cane.

Bridging The Gap

MyBlindStory Image 3 Here I'm posing with my white cane, blue jeans, black cold shoulder short sleeve tee and cream pumps.
Image 3

Expanding perceptions by connecting sighted and non-sighted communities are one of many ways we help to end fear and stigma associated with the word ‘blind.’ To extend our mission of “improving humanity by changing the way we perceive one another” we incorporated an online boutique. “Shopping With Abby” promotes powerful motivational slogans on all our merchandise (e.g. Relax! It’s Only a Cane). 

Once, an eye doctor told me “it would be a tragedy to learn how to use the white cane.” However, I believe the real tragedy is the shame many people feel when losing their eyesight. Empowering visual images that exude positivity will change hearts and minds towards blindness.

MyBlindStory Featured Image Description:

A professional headshot of my asymmetrical hairstyle with burgundy highlights. The muted Coral Cutie lipstick topped with a peach colored gloss provides a nice contrast against the gray backdrop. I’m wearing a black dress and black tuxedo jacket trimmed in faux leather, silver statement necklace, and silver drop earrings.

Other Images:

  • Image 1 – I’m standing with my white cane wearing white jeans and a gray cold shoulder sweater with tan lace-up sandals. I’m also holding a silver bomber jacket over my left shoulder.
  • Image 2 – In this photo, I have my white cane and my outfit (capris, tank, sneakers & hoodie) are in shades of gray.
  • Image 3 – Here I’m posing with my white cane, blue jeans, black cold shoulder short sleeve tee and cream pumps.
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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #14

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a KICK-ASS red lipstick.” ~Gwyneth Paltrow

kick-ass-lipstickNothing says confidence like a red lip. Red is bold, fiery, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love.

For those of us who require mobility devices a question that comes to mind might be “geez I get enough attention by using my white cane why do I need more?” While it could be a valid point there’s world of difference between the curious stares brought about from using the tools we need to live independently and the admiration that comes from the confidence that says “I feel good about myself, I feel beautiful.”

Today’s Tip: For an immediate confidence booster go with a red lip. Don’t wear makeup? No worries, just do you! Always remember, “when we feel good we look good.”

Image: Abigail (Abby) is in the background of the text with her white cane and handbag along with a bright red kiss against a black background.

Have a relaxing Sunday!