My impairment is known as Phocomelia, which means ‘seal-like limbs’. In my case, this was induced by the fact that my mother was prescribed Thalidomide when she was pregnant with me. I do have a small amount of humerus bone, and where the radius and ulna bones might be, I have a small plate bone, looking a little like the flipper bone of a seal; and I have no thumbs. My condition is constant, as opposed to degenerative, but I have over-compensated in other limbs, which are damaged by arthritis as a result.
I have collaborated with Ashley, the photographer, many times as I believe that it’s really important for disabled people to allow themselves to be identified as sexual beings, subjects, objects, people engaging with their sexuality and sexy feelings. I love to be stripped of all my clothing and to explore my glorious, naked disabled body and self, proud of who and what I am, and represent. I am proud and happy to be different and I do love being looked at, lusted after. When an image of my body disturbs the viewer, I like that too, as it means that in some way they are forced to reassess their perspective on sex, nakedness, beauty and disability.
My condition is known as Diastrophic Dysplasia, a type of dwarfism that is particularly common in Finland, the country of my birth. During my childhood and adolescence, I used to be extremely embarrassed about my body, but through many painful experiences I came to realize that there is just no such thing as a ‘perfect’ body. Nowadays I do not think of myself as being different, any more so than everyone is different from someone else. Through my artistic practice as a performer and model, I strive to show that feeling sexy and confident does not necessarily require fitting into predetermined stereotypes of normative beauty.
I have modelled for Ashley many times in the past and trust him implicitly, so have no objections to being photographed naked. Even in everyday life, I cannot hide away my imperfections behind clothes and make-up, so in a sense, I am always naked whether I wear clothes or not.
Photography by Ashley Savage from the exhibition “Bodies of Difference”. There are higher resolution (but not downloadable) versions of these and more photos at his website: http://www.savageskin.co.uk/Bodies_Of_Difference.html
Marichyasana pose! #yoga #dailyyoga #fitspo #marichyasana
Fusilli with White Bean Marinara and Crushed Red Peppers
I am admittedly not good at yoga. I’m not even sort of good. & how can I expect to be? I’ve been doing it for a week. You know what, for that matter, I’m not “good” at lifting, either. Or running. Or swimming. But I’ll still keep doing them, & I’ll keep getting better.
Not being good at something is such a bogus excuse to stop doing it.
You’re not good? Practice. Be better. Be perfect.
Cauliflower and white bean soup
What I think of me is more important than what others think of me…