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Blind Beauty 81 | Catherine Harrison

Featured image is described in the body of the post.

“I am not the victim, the enemy or even the hero…I am the author of my dreams. I am not afraid to fall because I know how to rise with strength and dressed on point”.

~Catherine Harrison

While I’ve shared with you my frustrations on the pitfalls of social media, there is an equal amount of positives. One of those positives comes in the form of today’s featured Blind Beauty, Catherine Harrison.

I was introduced to Catherine by Vicky, a good friend of mine who lives in the UK. Vicky felt that Catherine would be an excellent feature on Bold Blind Beauty because of her line of work. Catherine is a Commercial Print Model by trade whose outer beauty is incomparable to her inner beauty. And believe me when I say this woman is gorgeous!

The Author Of Her Dreams

“Sassy blind southern gal encouraging bold strength while swinging a cane & in high heels”

Catherine harrison

During our first telephone conversation, I learned that Catherine was a Registered Nurse prior to her sight loss. When her eyesight worsened to the degree she could no longer be effective in nursing she chose a different career path. What struck me most about Catherine, aside from her humanity, is how warm, funny, and down to earth she is. I guess the saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas” is true because as a proud Texan Catherine’s personality is stellar! The above quote from her Instagram profile should have been a clue as to who she is. And make no mistake, Catherine “KNOWS” who she is and she shares her inspirational wisdom with others. A very well-rounded individual, following are some of Catherine’s hobbies/skills that include:

  • Weight training/working out,
  • Waterskiing
  • Snow skiing
  • Public speaking
  • Writing
  • Ballet
  • Western horseback riding
  • Handgun shooting
  • Social media marketing
  • Event planning and fundraising

Catherine also spends a great deal of time giving back to the community in numerous capacities. From serving on numerous boards and committees to major fundraising activities, Catherine is the epitome of a warrior of change.

Stay tuned to learn more about Catherine when she will be featured in Women On The Move in January 2020!

Connecting With Catherine:

Image Descriptions:

  • Photo credit Julia Wagner at Feather and Root Photography.
  • Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. With short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes, Catherine is on the cover wearing a stunning red keyhole top. The neckline on the sleeveless top is cut to partially expose Catherine’s shoulders. Blocks of text superimposed on Catherine’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”
  • A gallery of 5 photos from a professional shoot:
    • Catherine is rockin’ her white cane in a chic blue halter dress.
    • Another white cane photo, this one in black & white. Catherine is in her red keyhole top, white leggings, and white heeled sandals.
    • Catherine in the blue halter dress and wedge sandals is posed against a wooden column.
    • In this white cane photo, Catherine is wearing a white long-sleeved keyhole dress.
    • The last photo is a close-up headshot of the third photo.
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Blind Beauty 80 | Eliana Mason

Featured image is described in the body of the post.

“Disability does not mean inability” 

Introduction:

Since my relationship with sports is practically non-existent, I’m sadly out of the loop when it comes to any sports-related activities. However, I greatly admire women—and particularly women with disabilities—who are kicking @$$! I’m especially thrilled each time I have the opportunity to present one of these women on Bold Blind Beauty.

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to Eliana Mason, a young woman I’ve only recently met. When I saw her flip a 400-pound tire, I thought “I’ve got to meet this lady.” Like many women featured here, Eliana’s passion to change how people with disabilities are viewed is palpable. She’s a phenomenal woman who already is and will continue to accomplish amazing things in her life.

Blind Beauty 80 | Eliana Mason

Lima 2019 Throwing Photo is described in the body of the post.
Lima 2019 Throwing Photo

When I was growing up people always used the word “inspiration” to describe my accomplishments. This word frustrates me because you shouldn’t find it inspiring that someone with a visual impairment graduated high school, has friends, has a job, or plays sports. This should be the norm.

If you treat individuals with disabilities differently and as if they are incapable, then that is how they are going to view themselves and act. It is important we empower individuals with disabilities by not seeing them as ‘other’ or treating them differently but simply acknowledging that everyone faces personal struggles and overcomes them in their own ways. We all have challenges in our lives, just being visually impaired means everyone you meet knows what your challenges and struggles are.

We need both sighted, blind and visually impaired individuals alike to work together to change how blindness is understood and viewed. Don’t tell me I am your inspiration for doing something that is the norm. It is okay to tell someone they are inspiring, but it should be for something that is worth that acknowledgment.

I am an athlete and play on the Paralympic National Women’s Goalball Team representing Team USA. I found my identity and confidence through sports and wouldn’t be who I am today without adaptive sports.

Most people have never heard of the Paralympics, they are parallel to the Olympic Games, except they are for athletes with any type of physical disability. Goalball is a sport geared specifically to blind athletes and it has allowed me to excel as an athlete, to train, and compete at an elite level without my vision being a limitation. I am currently training full-time to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games next year in the hopes of bringing home a gold medal.

Being an athlete empowers me and makes me feel strong and beautiful. Strength is beauty to me and working hard to reach a goal is what pushes me every day to be better than I was yesterday. When I am a Paralympic gold medalist, then you can tell me I am an inspiration, after I’ve accomplished something that is inspiring and extraordinary. Until then, recognize that I am no different than you, and that I am capable and able to accomplish anything I set my mind to, just like you. 

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. The event was of the Team USA Red Carpet 2016. Eliana is on the cover standing on the red carpet wearing a red dress and gold sandals. Pretty Eliana who has honey blonde hair just below her shoulders. She is wearing a bronze medal around her neck and behind her is a dark gray backdrop with the Team USA logo and logos of company sponsors. Blocks of text superimposed on Eliana’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”
  • Lima 2019 Throwing Photo is an action shot of Eliana preparing to throw the ball.
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Blind Beauty 79 | Elaine Huitt

Blind Beauty 79 | Elaine Huitt image is described in the body of the post

You don’t need full ‘vision’ to have a ‘vision’ to ‘see’ your way through life.

~Elaine Huitt

When I interviewed Elaine Huitt for her Women On The Move piece I was moved by her entire story. However, the above personal quote that she shared at the end of the interview was a particularly powerful statement.

As a society, we are so consumed with how things are presented, many times we miss more meaningful messages. Pretty packaging, bells, and whistles can be a distraction for what really lies beneath. Conversely, packaging without the glitter and glam might appear ordinary until you unpack what’s wrapped inside.

Elaine, like many of us who live with disabilities, overcompensated and worked extremely hard to keep up in school and on the job. She did whatever she had to do to be successful which meant developing creative workarounds.

Viewing people with disabilities as broken is a “we vs. them” mentality that comes from a place of superiority. Not only is this thinking unkind and divisive it sometimes and makes inaccurate assumptions. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses yet when we talk about people with disabilities all we can see is their difference.

Maybe one of the reasons our planet is so diverse is we all bring something unique to our world. Together we are like a beautifully designed masterpiece that was meant to be as it is.

Despite everything working against her, Elaine was able to move up the ranks and become a huge success. In her current role, she helps youth understand that lack of physical sight has little to no impact on their inner vision. So many more just like her are waiting to make their mark, the question is, will we give them a chance?

Image Descriptions:

Featured image – A headshot of Elaine wearing a crisp white shirt paired with a silver statement necklace. She has wavy dark hair, with on-point makeup that includes pink lip color.

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Blind Beauty 78 | Cassie Ingram

Featured Image is described in the post

I want to break this stigma that people with disabilities must live a limited life. You can do anything you set your mind to. It might be in a different way than everyone else but keep striving for those goals. Reach for your dreams. And never give up!

~Cassie Ingram

I’ve always been a positive person and when I was younger, I had goals and determination. But after obtaining my Associate’s Degree in Child Development, I transferred to a University and things began to change. I started getting a lot of questions from teachers and students on how I would finish out my degree considering I was legally blind. At the time, I didn’t realize how much I was going to let this affect me. While other things played a part, in the end, I left college.

Then, earlier this year when I started my YouTube Channel, On The Fritz, I became involved in the blind and visually impaired community. Up to this point, I hadn’t realized how much I had let my visual impairment run my life. I had settled. I wasn’t involved in anything. I had no goals. I would tell myself I couldn’t do something because of my vision or not being able to drive. So much negativity for a self-proclaiming, positive person.

It’s really weird how something can be happening to you for years, even staring you down, but you never even see it! Just after a few months, I am now so happy to be returning to my old self again! I have goals! Determination! I am stronger! I want to break this stigma that people with disabilities must live a limited life. You can do anything you set your mind to. It might be in a different way than everyone else but keep striving for those goals. Reach for your dreams. And never give up!

Connecting With Cassie:

Featured Image Description:

The image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Cassie’s photo is on the cover and she’s stunning with burgundy with pink highlights in her hair and mesmerizing hazel/green eyes. She has a pink flower in her hair above her left ear and her cactus statement earrings add a fun pop of color. Her white lace wrap is over a black tank which she accented with a blue scarf hung loosely around her neck.

Blocks of text superimposed on Cassie’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”