Age 57, amputee due to cancer
Photographed by Shawn Mickens
I have taken the shattered pieces of my life and created a tapestry made of pieces woven together to create beauty and power in the way I experience my disability—on my one leg.
I know that the wellspring I found within myself is in everyone, buried deep perhaps, but still available for those moments when they believe that they can do no more and go no further. My life’s mission, I soon discovered, was about so much more than me holding my own in the universe. It was about revealing to others that place within themselves, the largely untapped source that fuels greatness and personal power.
Now I am on a mission to showcase the talent and abilities of women of color with disabilities through various media platforms to help shape the perception of what “disability looks like” through my new campaign—Divas with Disabilities. “Diva” is a term I use to describe empowered women who transcend their disabilities. Divas encourages more to stand in declaration of the space they occupy in affirmation of their authenticity to show unapologetically and ask: Seriously, what’s a leg—or an arm—got to do with a woman’s beauty anyway?
To be “eye candy’ is both flattering and fleeting, to be the “apple of his eye” is romantic, but to be wholesome in mind and spirit, to be genuine to my own authenticity — this is real beauty.
“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? “ Marianne Williamson