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#BlindMKLady Hashtag Evolution

I'm Blind Why Should I Wear Makeup image description is in the body of the post

#BlindMKLady Hashtag Evolution

“‘You are not less of a person for using a white cane.’ This takeaway was life-changing for me; the cane doesn’t define you, it’s just a tool. After hearing this I became a different person and people noticed.”

~Amy Wilson

Hello Bold Blind Beauty Readers, 

Some of you may know me and some of you may not. Before I explain what this post is about, I will give a short introduction to who I am. My name is Amy Wilson, a middle-aged thirty-something midwestern woman.

For over 25 years I’ve been defined as legally blind and never considered myself a special or unique flower. Although, I’ve accomplished many things in my life that some say are exceptional. In fact, in the last few weeks, close friends have told me I need to improve my self-promotion skills.

I’m so bad when it comes to talking about myself. My husband is the same way—humble is the name of our game. Not my son though, he is the show off of the family. Each person in my wonderful family has their own disability. I only say this to tell you there is a lot of stuff going on in our household. 

The #BlindMKLady Hashtag Breakdown…

1. Let’s begin with why I chose to include the word ‘blind’

First, saying visually impaired makes it too long, lol, just kidding. In the world we live in, you are ‘blind’ to the sighted community even if you have residual sight. On the other hand, to the blind community, you are ‘sighted’ if you have a little vision. How does that even make any sense? So am I blind or not?

For over twenty years I hated when people would call me blind, I would go on the defense right away. Do you know where that got me? Nowhere really.

Being called a blind person bothered me so much I wouldn’t even use a white cane. So if I have ever shoulder checked you I am sorry. According to my ex-husband, I did it a lot but in 2015 that changed for me. I can remember it very clearly as I met people who I now call family. And you would never guess who they were? Yes! Other blind people!!! 

I mean I had previously met blind people, but these people didn’t let their blindness define them. Adding to this, was my takeaway ‘you are not less of a person for using a white cane.’ This takeaway was life-changing for me; the cane doesn’t define you, it’s just a tool. After hearing this I became a different person and people noticed. I no longer had a problem walking around with my white cane. If anything I think I strutted a little more. 

2. Classification of Being ‘Blind’ 

Last year I heard a speech that changed my viewpoint on being classified as ‘blind.’ It talked about how people put you into categories and how as blind people we do it as well. The point made was, ‘why are we segregating ourselves within our own blind community?’ Whether you have no vision or just been declared legally blind, guess what? You’re blind! Now let that sink in.

I know from personal experience it’s hard to take on the blind label. It’s especially difficult when you are new to blindness. When I heard that speech I made the decision to stop saying “I’m visually impaired” and just say “blind.” By doing this, I’m letting society know that ‘blindness’ is not just the ‘totally blind’ but me too. 

I’m blind so what? I’m still a Rock Star! No way am I a rock star but I think you get my point. And maybe you just have to listen to the P!nk song—”So What.”

3. What’s A MKLady?

The other part of my hashtag speaks for itself as I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. I love the company, Mary Kay. This is actually my second time being a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. 

My first time, with Mary Kay I was not confident in my blindness at ALL. I let it get in the way of having my own Mary Kay business. This time is totally different. I got great advice right from the start. If they can’t handle the fact that I am blind then they are just ‘not my people.’ Simple right?

‘Not your people’ can be used in so many different areas of our lives, even with family. Be confident in who you are, no matter what!!! Do I have regrets in my life? You bet, but I don’t dwell on those things—you can’t change the past and the future is tomorrow’s problem. However, you can focus on now.

Knowing Who I Am

I view myself as the #BlindMKLady and wouldn’t have it any other way. And I am not the only #BlindMKLady out there either. I’ve met other MK ladies and am personally building my team of blind and sighted ladies. My goal is to be the first blind Mary Kay Sales Director. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me. My goal is huge even for a sighted consultant. If you want to assist in helping me achieve this goal let’s chat. 

No matter what your goal is in life don’t let something like being blind hold you back. Blindness does not define you. You define you. Put your big girl panties on and make stuff happen. If you want someone to cheer you on, contact me, I will be your cheerleader. 

Be Bold, Be Beautiful and most of all be true to YOU!!!

Yours Truly, 

Amy Wilson, #BlindMKLady

You can find me on Facebook as Amy Wilson or my Facebook group called Wilson’s Wildflowers

#BlindMKLady Featured Image Description:

Closeup photo of Amy looking fabulous with her wavy brunette hair framing her face and sunnies on top of her head. She is wearing a blue/black floral dress with a v-neckline.

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5 Confessions Of A Blind Content Creator

5 Confessions Of A Blind Content Creator featured image description is in the body of the post.

5 Confessions Of A Blind Content Creator

Okay, so I have some confessions and now’s as good a time as any to come clean. As some of you may know, I joined forces with an amazing image consultant, Chelsea Nguyen, and together we’ve launched a digital magazine. We ultimately envision developing an accessible online platform where people across the disability spectrum can collaborate, create, and publish professional publications. 

Since CAPTIVATING! is where the power and possibilities of inclusion are limitless it’s a chip off Bold Blind Beauty’s block. As a matter of fact our missions are very closely aligned; CAPTIVATING! is about living and thriving with a disability. It is for all—everyone. Inclusion is the key word for both Bold Blind Beauty and CAPTIVATING!

Now that my workload has practically doubled I’ve been asked what it’s like and how I do it. I thought the best way to proceed forward would be to go through my workflow and share some helpful tips. I’ll wrap up today’s post with some exciting news to share with you! But first, confessions:

Confession #1

This blogging business is hard! Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not whining, although if I do say so myself I’m pretty gosh darn good at. When I say “good at it” I mean whining not blogging. Not that I’m bad at blogging but I’m better at whining when I put my mind to it. However, whining is not the purpose of this post.

When I first began blogging the major concerns from my point of view were content creation and time. If I thought developing fresh content was stressful I didn’t take into consideration:

  • managing the website
  • research
  • writing
  • editing
  • picture taking
  • video making
  • connecting and engaging with fellow bloggers
  • and social media, just to name a few tasks.

Confession #2

It was so exciting watching Bold Blind Beauty grow. With growth came greater responsibility:

  • not nearly enough time to visit my favorite blogs (because there are many and yes, I have a list)
  • curating relevant content to share on social media is ongoing
  • connecting with, scheduling and following up with featured guests is also ongoing
  • sometimes no matter how well I plan things go awry
  • additional features on the back end of the website make managing it a little more challenging
  • as the blog grew so did I as in age, as a result, the way I work has changed
  • growth on social media channels means more connecting and engaging with more people

Confession #3

Upgrading to WordPress Business Plan provides greater flexibility ie plugins, e-commerce solution, access to instant help, and more. On the other side of the upside:

  • it’s more costly
  • even more, time to update and sustain the site
  • learning to use new plugins to make life a little easier
  • because of confessions 1, 2, and 2, there’s even less time to engage with my blogging buddies

Confession #4

Since so much of what we develop as content creators are visual, this can make things a bit challenging. Limited eyesight compounds the issue yet there are many adaptations and workarounds we can use. But what about design elements? More importantly, how do you keep it all organized then post to multiple social media channels?

  • Canva, a web-based design platform is so easy to use a person without any design experience can create nearly anything.
  • Sendible is a social media management tool that lets you schedule and post to multiple social media platforms. Yes, even Instagram so no more emailing images to upload to Insta on your cell phone.
  • G-Suite like the name implies is a suite of Google products (docs, sheets, calendar, contacts, Gmail, etc.) With G-Suite you can create set up email based on your domain, i.e. smccoy@boldblindbeauty vs. smccoy@gmail.com. All of my images are grouped into general subdirectories like events, logos, products, quotes, and selfies. These directories are further broken down by more specific topics. For example in my boatload of quotes folder, there are advocacy, authenticity, empowerment, fashion, funny, etc. related quotes.
  • Trello is a project management tool consisting of boards, lists, and cards that I use to keep myself organized.
  • Sales Navigator Lite for Gmail extension allows me to see what contacts are on LinkedIn. This enables me to send them a connection request directly from Gmail.

Confession #5

I draw the line at SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

  • At my age, I choose what’s beneficial for me. Since my eyes glaze over whenever I hear the word “SEO,” Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress has been a lifesaver.

Summary of Confessions:

While the work I do can be incredibly complicated and time-consuming it is by far the most rewarding I’ve had the pleasure of performing. The amazing feedback I get from people all over the world is more than enough compensation. An additional bonus is meeting all of you and featuring some of you here on Bold Blind Beauty.

CAPTIVATING! Celebrates Women’s History Month

You may have been wondering how today’s featured image relates to this post. Well, since my friend and colleague created the image I wanted to brag on her. This amazing CAPTIVATING! magazine cover was created by Deloitte colleague Kelly Stephens. She took existing photographs from 5 beautiful women from all around the world and made it look like they are in the same room. 

In honor of Women’s History Month, @CaptivatingMagazine‘s editing team selected these women to be featured on the cover. The March edition was recently published and it features content about empowering women, Cerebral Palsy Awareness, a lovely children’s book review and more. The edition can be accessed here: March 2019. When you have a moment check it out.

5 Confessions Of A Blind Content Creator Featured Image Description:

Clockwise from the bottom left is:

  • Grace Nzomo is wearing a red scoop-neck sweater and her long wavy red hair is swept over her left shoulder.
  • Krystle Allen who has dark shoulder length hair is behind L.A. wearing a white blouse with a silver and gold medallion statement necklace.
  • L.A. is in the center. She has dark curly hair and she’s wearing a black dressy top and bright red skirt.
  • Kym Dekeyrel has long blonde hair parted in the center and while it can’t be seen in this photo she’s wearing a red and black floral dress with spaghetti straps.
  • Shaini Saravanamuthu is in the lower right corner dressed in a black cold shoulder gown. Her long gold statement earrings are a nice contrast against her jumpsuit and black wavy hair swept to the left.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share that make your life easier? Please do tell. ~Steph

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Finding Fashion With Bumps & Bars

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Finding Fashion With Bumps & Bars

Hello everyone – Abby here!

Have you ever heard of Seiichi Miyake? No, this isn’t a new fashion trend or makeup line, it’s the name of the Japanese inventor of truncated domes. Also called braille blocks, tactile paving, or detectable warning surfaces these unique patterns are identifiable with our canes.

Located on the ground at intersections or on the edges of train platforms they let us know where we are. I love these bumps because it’s another way for me to get to where I want to go. Which of course, is usually to find a cute new outfit, maybe matching shoes, or possibly a whole new makeover!

So I was thrilled to find that today’s Google Doodle—the daily animation of Google’s logo— is honoring cane accessibility. As a long time cane user, accessibility and inclusion are always near and dear to my heart.

Celebrating Accessibility

Google is celebrating the introduction of truncated domes by honoring its inventor Seiichi Miyake. 52 years ago
Seiichi wanted to help a blind friend navigate better in big cities, railways, and parks.

The animation shows a white cane and sneaker-clad feet walking on the yellow raised bars towards the bumps. ‘Google’ is spelled out in upper case letters with different colors in the bumps on the ground. An animation of this type on a global search engine is another way to showcase our independence. We walk boldly in confidence with our white canes eradicating misconceptions about blindness and sight loss.

To learn more about how the truncated domes were developed, and how we use them to navigate click the Google logo. And of course, while you’re online you might as well take advantage of some retail therapy. Find some fun fashion or bling to add to your collections!

Finding Fashion With Bumps & Bars Featured Image Description:

Image of Google’s looped 20-second animation. The image shows a person with a white cane wearing black and white sneakers. The cane detects the word ‘Google’ spelled out in different colors on the truncated domes on the ground.

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Losing Sight Helped Me FindBalance Amidst Extremes

Losing Sight Helped Me Find Balance Amidst Extremes featured image description is in the body of the post

Losing Sight Helped Me FindBalance Amidst Extremes

I’d long forgotten what we were arguing about yet remembering the word he flung at me stung.
Things got heated between us early one morning as my brother was driving me to work in my vehicle. Since driving had become difficult because I was losing my eyesight, I had voluntarily given it up.

As you might imagine turning over the car keys was not an easy thing to do. In Trading Car Keys For A White Cane, I talk about what it was like having to do so. Anyway, being relegated to passenger status, then ending up in a screaming match, in your own vehicle? Well, that’s just all kinds of wrong. I can laugh about it now but in the heat of the moment, I was beyond furious. So angry in fact, while the tears stung my eyes I wouldn’t cry and I didn’t say another word.

‘Judgmental,’ he said. Me, judgmental? Seething with anger and the need for a private meltdown, I lunged out of the Jeep and rushed into my office building. A lobby, elevator bank, and 11 floors later I arrived at my destination. It wasn’t until I was safely in the ladies room where I allowed myself the luxury of crying. Of all the words in the world, why would he call me judgmental? More importantly, why was I so upset about it?

If it Looks, Swims or Quacks Like a Duck

If you’re at all familiar with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator you are aware of the 16 different personality types. I’m an INTJ short for Intuitive, Introverted, Thinking, and Judging. Yup, there it is, that word ‘judging.’ At the risk of being totally transparent, I’ve always known this was a personal character trait or flaw perhaps? Being in my head is an awfully lonely place to be because I tend to operate on many ridiculous assumptions. For example:

  • Chaos does not compute. Structure is my friend and I wrongly assume that others will abide by my standards.
  • Nonsensical madness like the ‘poke’ feature on Facebook. Can someone please explain what this is for? Or chain letters or worse yet chain messages. My assumptions in these cases are baffling because. Why?
  • Being on time is being 30 minutes early. ‘Nuff said.
  • Rules that make sense (refer to the second bullet) are designed to keep us safe and efficient. Rules that don’t make sense need restructuring (refer to the first bullet). So why in the name of heaven would anyone blatantly disregard the 20 items or less in the express lane? The assumption here? Yup, you guessed it― criminal.

So I may be a teensy weensy judgy but in my defense, I:

  • Create order in chaos
  • Whatever I do, I do it to the very best of my ability
  • Special projects allow me to joyfully tap into my workaholic persona
  • I’m really good at creating a plan, a backup plan, and a contingency plan for the backup plan

The Toilet Paper Roll Test

Which do you prefer over or under?

Through the years I’ve been told I’m intense, quirky, obsessive-compulsive, and opinionated. Just a mere few years ago for any given situation, in my mind, it was either black or white. There was never an in-between or gray area. And balance? Well, balance never really fit into the equation because some of my views were distorted.

To some degree, when I began losing sight I started seeing things more clearly. Learning that blindness isn’t black and white helped me to understand that many of life’s circumstances share a similar philosophy.

Today, I’m still quirky, intense, obsessive-compulsive, and judgy, it’s who I am, however, I’m also more open-minded. Blogging and social media have enabled me to meet so many people who have such compelling stories it’s opened my eyes.

Today, I’m more mindful than ever that while we are biologically the same, each of us is unique. Even though we may share similar situations how we react to them is personal and requires patience and understanding.

Today, I purposefully seek balance and am getting better at living in the moment. So how’d I do in the toilet paper roll test? Growing up in a strictly ‘under’ household when I would happen upon a roll that was ‘over’ I was done. I mean who does this? And why?

It wasn’t until one of my sons came to live with me for a minute that I was put to the test. Apparently, he rebelled against his upbringing and became an ‘over’ person. For a while we’d battle with the toilet paper roll, then one day I just gave up. And you know what? Nothing happened. There wasn’t a meteor strike, an attack of the body snatchers or zombie apocalypse and the best thing? The toilet paper still worked!

Today, I can proudly say I’m an ‘over’ person and proud of it! Releasing, released me and allowed me to experience a freedom like none other.

Losing Sight Helped Me Find Balance Amidst Extremes Feature Image Description:

The graphic is a simple black and white ekg with the outline of a ballerina in the center of the jagged lines.