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Amy Kavanagh | Blind Beauty 65

Blind Beauty 65 Featured Image description is in the body of the post.

Part of my problem was that I just didn’t identify as “blind.” Even though I was born with a visual impairment, I didn’t think of myself as disabled. Everyone always went on about sight loss, but I’d never had it in the first place! It was my normal.

~Amy Kavanagh

Amy Kavanagh | Blind Beauty 65

Selfie description is in the body of the post.
#1 Amy Selfie

This part of Amy’s quote “I just didn’t identify as blind” speaks volumes to me. Her words take me back to a time before I received my first pair of eyeglasses. Granted, even though I was myopic (severely nearsighted), the difference between me and Amy was my eyesight back then was correctable to 20/20.

The situation of seeing versus not seeing is one of the most baffling aspects of blindness. Back in the day, when a person was defined as blind we generally understood it to mean they couldn’t see anything. Today, we know that greatly diminished, uncorrectable eyesight can severely impact a person’s day to day life. For those of you who wear corrective lenses when you aren’t wearing them do you notice a difference in your sight?

I can relate to Amy only from the perspective of ‘my normal’ (nearsightedness) wasn’t a problem until my sight was corrected. In other words, ‘normal’ was blurry vision because ‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know.’ Before my eyes were corrected I didn’t know I couldn’t see.

As I read and reread Amy’s words I wonder how many people don’t identify as blind because it’s their normal. When we add in the stigma associated with blindness it takes this thinking to another level. For years, because Amy was living her ‘normal’ she didn’t take advantage of tools and training that could have made her life easier. I’ll tell you what though, I’m happy she came around because today she’s a fearless activist. Her #JustAskDontGrab campaign speaks to respecting the personal space of people with disabilities.

Blindness is complex. People are complex. If there were one lesson to come out of this post it would be we all ‘see’ differently (literally and figuratively). I think we run into problems when we measure our circumstances against others.

Blind Beauty 65 Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Amy Kavanagh’s image on the cover is black & white. This photo is a head and shoulder shot. Amy is sat in front of a wall with the BBC logo on. She is wearing big headphones over her bright pink hair and she’s smiling and looking at the camera.

Blocks of text superimposed on Charise’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 Image:

  1. This photo is a selfie. It’s a sunny day, with trees and blue sky in the background. Amy is smiling looking at the camera in large round sunglasses. Her hair is blond with bright pink hair fading from the top. She is wearing a black t-shirt and badge, the badge shows a pair of sunglasses and reads, medical necessity not fashion accessory.

Connecting With Amy:

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Charise Moore | Blind Beauty 64

Charise Moore Featured image description is in the body of the post.

The following edited piece was written by Charise Moore on an Instagram post. I was thrilled at the thought of sharing this because it’s full of wisdom and really challenges us to think about how we view people/situations. Sometimes things aren’t as they might appear. Where people are concerned, let’s check our assumptions at the door and ‘listen’ for the entire story.

Charise Moore | Blind Beauty 64

#1 Charise Moore image is described in the body of the post.
#1 Charise Moore

I can’t see puddles most of the time until I’m stepping in them. But yesterday during the flooding I couldn’t see that my street turned into a river. I wanted to SEE the water so I did what most blind and visually impaired people do I FELT it.

As I was standing there deep in thought my mom snapped this picture. It looks super creepy but I loved it. My shorts are uneven, my shirt is too big and I clearly don’t match but I love how she captured just a small moment of my everyday life with RP. So raw and vulnerable. 

I was 15 when I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). Yes, I don’t “look” blind (whatever that means) but I am and everything I do takes more effort than you will ever know. I’m also awaiting the diagnosis of my deafness as I’m now deaf/blind. It looks like I do everything with ease because I’ve had years of practice. Years of having two different levels of vision and now I’m blind with hearing loss.

Currently, my vision is 20/300 in one eye and 20/40 in the other. And here is what I deal with on a daily basis:

  • I don’t have depth perception,
  • limited peripheral vision,
  • blotchy central vision,
  • completely blind in the dark,
  • dim lights cause eye strain,
  • flashing lights cause eye pain,
  • and I can’t see street rivers but I can still see. 

Even if I need my other senses at times to fill in the gaps, and I may miss something the first and fifth time I’m not complaining. Because with or without vision I am BLESSED.

Blind Beauty 64 Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Charise Moore’s image on the cover is black & white. Charise is standing in the street in her bare feet under an umbrella while it’s raining. 

Blocks of text superimposed on Charise’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 Image:

This photo is a close-up three-quarter profile image of Charise. Face devoid of makeup, she’s a natural beauty with a golden honey complexion. She is wearing a white tank top and has a black wristwatch on her left hand which is resting lightly against her face.

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Georgie Beasley | Blind Beauty 63

Georgie Beasley Blind Beauty 63 Featured Image Description is in the body of the post.

Georgie Beasley | Blind Beauty 63

“Teenage years are tough, learning who you are and understanding what you’re going to become. This was extra difficult as I was also learning about something I was losing. The feeling of losing something important every day over and over again.”

~Georgie Beasley
#1 Georgie Beasley in red image is described in the body of the post.
#1 Georgie Beasley in red

Being a teenager isn’t easy, let alone a teenager who is losing their sight. Today’s Blind Beauty, Georgie Beasley, is losing her eyesight to Stargardt Disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration.

Diagnosed with the Stargardt Disease as an adolescent, Georgie is an extraordinarily, positive role model. While she shares some of the struggles associated with her sight loss she has a remarkable insight on life. Georgie’s desire to build awareness about sight loss prompted her to share her story on social media. As a matter of fact, earlier in the year she was featured in the Kalgoorlie Miner a local newspaper in Australia.

“I have come to accept myself and what I have [Stargardt Disease]. Though it really sucks that I can’t get my license, I have been offered so many great opportunities. It [sight loss] has also changed my perspective on life and how to treat others and live life.”

~Georgie Beasley

We will be hearing more from Georgie as she will also be a featured Woman On The Move in 2019.

Blind Beauty 63 Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Georgie is on the cover sitting on a beach towel atop a white sandy beach. In the background are rolling waves and a distant low mountain range.  Georgie is wearing sunglasses, white swimsuit, and a pair of striped shorts.  

Blocks of text superimposed on Georgie’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. Georgie In Red: The blond-haired beauty is wearing a strapless red jumpsuit with gold fringe statement earrings.
  2. A tri-panel collage of Georgie in 3 different photos. 1) In this Georgie’s hair is pulled back and she’s wearing a gray strappy gown. 2) A close-up of Georgie with her straight hair framing her face. She’s in a black top and looks like she’s about to eat something in her right hand. 3) Georgie is standing in front of a decorative stone focal point wall. In this photo she’s wearing a black tube top and yellow pants.

Connecting With Georgie Beasley:

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Niki Bevins | Blind Beauty 62

Niki Bevins Blind Beauty 62 Featured image description is in the body of the post.

Niki Bevins | Blind Beauty 62

“Having been diagnosed at the age of 4 with Stargardt’s, I have known my whole life I was going to grow up to be “blind.” A lot of things have surprised me about vision loss along the way, but the thing that surprises me the most has nothing to do with vision at all. I have learned that I must speak up and advocate for myself. The most surprising thing along my vision loss Journey, has been how  it’s helped me find my voice!”

~Niki Bevins
#1 - Niki Bevins image description is in the body of the post.
#1 – Niki Bevins

Generally speaking, people seem to be fascinated by the capabilities of blind and visually impaired people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked who does my makeup or pulls together my outfits.

Sometimes I feel the questions are a test where my answer will prove or disprove my level of sight. As I’ve discussed many times on Bold Blind Beauty, blindness is a spectrum condition.

The number of people who are completely blind is roughly around 10 percent. What this means is the majority of blind people have some residual sight which varies greatly from person to person. Our remaining sight is severe enough to impact day-to-day living and requires adaptations.

Today’s Blind Beauty, Niki Bevins aka The Blind Avon Lady, is, well, an Avon Representative. Niki, who has Stargardt Disease, a form of Macular Degeneration, focuses on what she can do, not what she can’t. 

#2 Niki in a truck bed image description is in the body of the post.
#2 Niki in a truck bed

While Niki received her diagnosis at a very young age, she has to acclimate to declining levels of sight. Recently she decided to take Basic White Cane Training to maintain her independence and she shares her journey on Instagram.

Blind Beauty 62 Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Niki is on the cover in black and white. She is sitting at the entryway to a barn on a wooden step. Beside her are decorative corn stalks with a couple of Halloween pumpkins. In the entrance behind her are stacked bales of hay. Niki’s outfit is described under additional images.  

Blocks of text superimposed on Niki’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. In this color photo of Niki, she’s dressed for fall. She’s in a cream-colored jacket with tan pants and fashionable brown boots lace-up boots. Her look is completed with a burgundy/cream print scarf tied loosely around her neck.
  2. This photo of Niki in the same outfit described above is a closeup of her sitting in the back of a blue truck bed. Whisps of wheat/blond hair frames her pretty profile.

Connecting With Niki Bevins: