1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, RIP, SoCS

The Heather By The River, #SoCS

Journalists. Photographers. And I use the term loosely.

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As a woman in my thirties, one who writes about things as my oxygen, I wonder what any of us would do for enough money. Would I write about people, even intrusively, for a living if given the chance?

Have I done it now? Already? Before?

How can it make anyone feel good about themselves to hound another human being, with their camera or their pen?

Responsibility: direct or indirect.

A world’s grief. Anger toward someone, needing to direct blame somewhere, the press. The press reports. The papers are printed. People buy the papers and mags.

More. More. More. We always want more.

From birth,
the two boys asked for none of it. That’s mostly where my thoughts return to.

I am not British and barely knew who Princess Diana was when she died. I wasn’t alive for the wedding seen around the world.

A sea of people, rather than water. That is what Diana must have seen when she looked from her vantage point, after saying her vows.

I would rather see a sea of Red or Black, blue or green, but the press fed off of the woman and she fed off of them, in a way, at least at first and for a long time afterward.

She was a fashion icon and a princess, but not only that. She used her position as a bit of an outsider, under the thumb of the monarchy, to become a change maker, by reaching out to those in need, those no one else wanted to associate with.

HIV and AID’s, in the 80s, when the hysteria about both was growing and at its greatest fever pitch. She shook hands, hugged those diagnosed and dying of the feared and misunderstood disease.

She came here, to Toronto, to sit by the beds of dying patients in hospice care. She walked a minefield, literally and figuratively. Danger signs.

Such grief of so many, I would not cry. As a fourteen-year-old child, fresh off of a kidney transplant and a thrilling wedding – I attended, my first of my oldest cousin. That was my wedding of the century.

Of royalty, I knew nothing. A fairytale life gone wrong is more like it.

Fairytales. I was familiar with these…the concept, the ideals, as a young girl. My Disney fairytale movies were my favourite. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, with the bright pink dresses and dancing with their handsome princes. I may have had similar dreams at the time, but what did I know? A lack of life experience and my own understandable immaturity.

What do titles represent, really? Sometimes, they bring just the right kind of attention and sometimes the wrong kind.

Now, upon reflection, twenty years later I do feel sad. I know of celebrity of her two sons. They are the British royalty of my generation.

I do perk up when I hear their names on the news. I bought the fake imitation giant ring, modelled after that of the one worn by both Kate and her mother-in-law, still lounging in my drawer. I woke to watch the wedding, once again broadcast live.

Prince William and Kate came to Canada after their marriage, the same date as my big brother’s own marriage took place. I hope one generation learns from the previous one, in certain cases, that sometimes it happens we grow wiser with enough knowledge.

They’ve come again since, since then, and with their two small children, touring parts of the country in which I live, that still sees itself as the child of Britain, past and present.

What is Kate wearing? Where are the couple going next? Are they in love, for real, or is it all just another fairytale?

But I do feel for two boys who, in August of 1997, woke up to the loss of their mother when I clung to mine for dear life, during some of the hardest and scariest times of my own childhood.

Are those boys/men in some ways like their mother, under scrutiny of duty, feeling hunted or like outsiders, wanting to reach out to those in need, perhaps not born with some of the advantages? They grew up with cameras as their mother tried to navigate a life of celebrity and being followed. She was hunted, more even than Prince Charles.

Now that I am more aware, I watch documentaries on the weekend after the anniversary of her death. I listen to stories of a nineteen-year-old who got married much too young, to an older man who shouldn’t have ever proposed to her in the first place, who was likely always in love with another woman. He should have been with this other lady all along and now appears that he is.

People marry the wrong person all the time, every single day and have babies with them. In these cases it is my hardest task not to judge because none of us are perfect. This challenges me as an adult who wants to see everyone happy, no matter whether they’re famous or not.

As a writer, this is my obituary of sorts, no matter how stream of consciousness based it may be, twenty years on.

From birth to death: Diana, 1961-1997

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Blogging, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, SoCS, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

The Vanishing Mirror, #FTSF #SoCS #LoIsInDaBl

“You used to see more, back when you were a little girl, right?”

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This post is part stream of consciousness writing and part finishing a sentence, along with

LOVE IS IN DA BLOG

SoCS

I wanted to join in with both:

FINISH THE SENTENCE FRIDAY

&

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

But my weekend somehow got away from me and Sunday is nearly done.

And then my five-year-old niece asked me that all too meaningful question.

This is an excerpt of a post I did for

THE REDEFINING DISABILITY AWARENESS CHALLENGE

***Q: Are there ways that disability affects your self perception?

A: How do I perceive myself?

Good question.

🙂

Disability definitely influences how I see myself. How could it not?

That’s the key word: “see”. How I see myself when I can not even see myself in a mirror.

I actually wrote a post about this topic, which I called

MIRROR IMAGE,

where I wrote about how I see myself and the social norms of makeup, beauty, and fashion and my attempts to discover my own norms.

I held my grade eight graduation picture in my hands and stared at my face. I knew that a picture was simply a flat representation of what I was, that I was more than some one-dimensional image in a frame. I couldn’t quite believe that was what I looked like, photographed like though.

I could make out my broad smile and my relatively short haircut that framed my face. I don’t know why, but I used to silently study the photo, often in my room. I don’t know what I was looking for exactly. Perhaps I was simply vane.

Okay, maybe not, but I can’t quite describe what I was trying to accomplish by this act.

I remember snippets of what I look like. I have flashes, in my mind, to what I used to see when I would look in the mirror.

Mostly I did not see enough detail to pick myself apart, as so many women do. I saw my face and hair and shoulders in the reflective surface, in a bathroom somewhere, and I did not shy away at the Me looking back.

Women rip apart their physical selves so often and I am not immune to that, not entirely. I wish I were.

Merriam-Webster defines it as: “the idea you have about the kind of person you are”.

I know, logically and in my own heart, that I am a kind, generous, and friendly person. I know I am fun and can be funny from time to time.

Perceptions, however, they aren’t quite so logical I’m afraid. I wish they were because they are able to play tricks on me. These perceptions slip in and, before I know it, I am thinking things about myself that likely are just plain untruths.

Like my exaggerated perception that makeup would make me look like a clown, other strange and incorrect perceptions plague my thoughts.

Both self perception and self esteem are so intermingled. They involve the senses, mostly seeing for people. I go by my other senses to gage ideas about my own body and how I present my best self to the world.

I trace the shape of my nose, my eyebrows, and my skin to look for acne, of which I am happy to be rid of for the most part. The skin that was once covered in bumps as a teenager is mostly smooth now.

I am left with other worries that have replaced the pimples of my youth. I wish I had less of one feature and more of another.

I hate having frizzy hair or rough nails.

How does my face compare to all those of the women who are populating the rest of the world, makeup included?

I could focus on my imperfections all day and it’s not like the mirror is going to help with that or hurt it. The scale would talk to me if I wanted it to, but the only mirror that ever spoke to me was the toy Beauty and the Beast mirror I once had.

Sometimes I think the two cancel each other out somehow, that I should be okay then, but the nagging self-image exaggerations bleed into the good personality traits I know I possess. The negative brings down any positives I’ve managed to accumulate. I’m left with doubts that anyone could stand the sight of me, the part they can see and I can not.

I feel my beating heart inside my chest, under my hand, and I know that the good person I am inside is in tact. If only I could convince myself that I am normal in my outward appearance. If I could stop the shame that has built up over years then maybe I could be sure of my first impressions, of which I am at a constant disadvantage to other people who see. When I meet someone I am strongly aware of the upper hand they have over me, as I try to show what a confident person I am and learn as much as I can about them, other than the exterior things most of us fall back on.

Sometimes I feel I am invisible and the next second I am terrified of how much I stand out. I don’t know where this all might lead me going forward. My future is as uncertain as anyone’s, but will any of this get easier with age and general wisdom? I can only hope so, but the perceptions will always exist. What’s a girl to do?***

I grasp onto other resources:

Steph at Bold Blind Beauty

&

Emily at Fashioneyesta

because I can then begin to feel like I am not so alone in the vanishing mirror. I can see that fashion is not unimportant, that I am allowed to care about how I look sometimes, and that I’m not going invisible.

My entire life has been one of limited sight, but I had an idea of what I looked like in the mirror, as lacking in details as it may have been, up until my early twenties. Now I am losing that. My brother tries to/tires of helping me face a future with less and less sight to rely on, I feel the parts of my body I don’t like and wish I could change, and I can’t reconcile the two worlds I’m trapped between.

My niece tries to imagine what I must have been like as a girl, as she compares that to the aunt she knows. She is learning about hers and other perceptions. I wish I could have had something more to offer her in that moment when she brought it up.

Instead, I am just tired. I am tired of having to educate the world, as I read another woman write about her experiences with self image as a woman with a visual impairment.

WHEN I LOOK IN THE MIRROR: BLINDNESS AND BODY IMAGE

Instead, I wait for her to speak. She did a good job at filling people in on things they hadn’t thought of, and I can’t blame them for that. They can then see that there’s her and me and the bloggers I mentioned above. We women with lack of sight still go through it all and more, or all in our own ways. When I look in the mirror I see less and less. I just do.

When I look in the mirror, I need to let go of the image I once saw there and try to look forward into the future, through that glass. I need to learn how to love myself still, love that which I do not see. I need to let that love sustain me, through loneliness or bad days. It’s all about the image. I wish it weren’t. I wish I wouldn’t care about being found attractive by the right person or accepted when I step out into the world. It all must start with me though. If I lack self image, if I hate what I see or don’t see in the mirror, little girls like my niece will sense that somehow. I don’t want that. I’m entirely certain of that.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

Seeing Is Believing

Summer has arrived and the

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

continues on.

Last time I wrote about my own life with technology:

When It Rains It Pours

This week I get personal, I guess.

***

Q: Are there ways that disability affects your self perception?

A: How do I perceive myself?

Good question.

🙂

Disability definitely influences how I see myself. How could it not?

That’s the key word: “see”. How I see myself when I can not even see myself in a mirror.

I actually wrote a post about this topic last year:

Mirror Image,

where I wrote about how I see myself and the social norms of makeup, beauty, and fashion and my attempts to discover my own norms.

I held my grade eight graduation picture in my hands and stared at my face. I knew that a picture was simply a flat representation of what I was, that I was more than some one-dimensional image in a frame. I couldn’t quite believe that was what I looked like, photographed like though.

I could make out my broad smile and my relatively short haircut that framed my face.

I don’t know why, but I used to silently study the photo, often in my room. I don’t know what I was looking for exactly.

Perhaps I was simply vane.

Okay, maybe not, but I can’t quite describe what I was trying to accomplish by this act.

I remember snippets of what I look like. I have flashes, in my mind, to what I used to see when I would look in the mirror.

Mostly I did not see enough detail to pick myself apart, as so many women do. I saw my face and hair and shoulders in the reflective surface, in a bathroom somewhere, and I did not shy away at the Me looking back.

Women rip apart their physical selves so often and I am not immune to that, not entirely. I wish I were.

Merriam-Webster defines it as: “the idea you have about the kind of person you are”.

I know, logically and in my own heart, that I am a kind, generous, and friendly person. I know I am fun and can be funny from time to time.

Perceptions, however, they aren’t quite so logical I’m afraid. I wish they were because they are able to play tricks on me. These perceptions slip in and, before I know it, I am thinking things about myself that likely are just plain untruths.

Like my exaggerated perception that makeup would make me look like a clown, other strange and incorrect perceptions plague my thoughts.

Both self perception and self esteem are so intermingled. They involve the senses, mostly seeing for people. I go by my other senses to gage ideas about my own body and how I present my best self to the world.

I trace the shape of my nose, my eyebrows, and my skin to look for acne, of which I am happy to be rid of for the most part. The skin that was once covered in bumps as a teenager is mostly smooth now.

I am left with other worries that have replaced the pimples of my youth. I wish I had less of one feature and more of another.

I hate having frizzy hair or rough nails.

How does my face compare to all those of the women who are populating the rest of the world, makeup included?

I could focus on my imperfections all day and it’s not like the mirror is going to help with that or hurt it. The scale would talk to me if I wanted it to, but the only mirror that ever spoke to me was the toy Beauty and the Beast mirror I once had.

Sometimes I think the two cancel each other out somehow, that I should be okay then, but the nagging self-image exaggerations bleed into the good personality traits I know I possess.

The negative brings down any positives I’ve managed to accumulate.

I’m left with doubts that anyone could stand the sight of me, the part they can see and I can not.

I feel my beating heart inside my chest, under my hand, and I know that the good person I am inside is in tact.

If only I could convince myself that I am normal in my outward appearance.

If I could stop the shame that has built up over years then maybe I could be sure my first impressions, of which I am at a constant disadvantage to other people who see. When I meet someone I am strongly aware of the upper hand they have over me, as I try to show what a confident person I am and learn as much as I can about them, other than the exterior things most of us fall back on.

Sometimes I feel I am invisible and the next second I am terrified of how much I stand out.

I don’t know where this all might lead me going forward. My future is as uncertain as anyone’s, but will any of this get easier with age and general wisdom?

I can only hope so, but the perceptions will always exist. What’s a girl to do?

***

May I make a suggestion?

Follow:

The Redefining Disability Awareness Project on Facebook,

to help our little page grow.

🙂

Next week’s question:
Do you see disability as more of an asset or a drawback in your daily life?

Guess we’ll see how I’m feeling in a week.

🙂

Sometimes it depends on the day and my answer may change a dozen times between now and then.

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Uncategorized

A Day in the Life

Last Monday I wrote about:

The Horse and the Bird.

To answer this week’s question for the:

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

I will run through a typical day in my own life and you can judge for yourself what the answer to the following question is.

***

Q: Are your activities of daily living affected by disability? If you are comfortable, share a little bit of your daily routine.

A: I am not uncomfortable, but I just wouldn’t want to bore any of my kind readers, that’s all.

🙂

If you know me or how I do the little things, that fill up my day, then please feel free to read on with another of my many blog posts, such as this one:

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

If you are at all curious how I cook, shop, or clean then please stay and read on …

To me my day is often full of repetitive tasks and common activities, all such as though I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be interested. However, in recent weeks I have spoke to people who have said that for people who can see, it’s the everyday tasks and how they are performed without sight, that are the most wondered about.

How do I brush my teeth? How do I do my laundry? How do I get dressed?

These are the things someone with sight, who can not imagine how they themselves would undertake such things. These are the questions I have received and that are often asked of someone with none.

To me they are simply the things we all must do to be presentable and to function in the world, but I am able to admit when I need help doing them or when having sight would make it easier to be able to perform them.

I wake up and I can not look out the window to check the weather for the day. I have a cat who needs the litter box changed and a dog who must be let out first thing. This gives me another reason to step out my door to check for air temperature, sun or lack-there-of, or if the deck is wet from a night’s rain.

I keep my shampoo and soap in a certain place in my shower and recognize the feel of the bottles by touch. It is, perhaps more necessary, to come up with systems for remembering which bottles are which and where I will be able to find them again the next day.

I use my fingers to squeeze out the toothpaste. I don’t spend hours on my hair or putting on makeup, but who knows how much time I would spend on these things like many girls do, if I could see my face in the mirror.

Mirror Image, a post about how I see myself without actually being able to see myself.

There are App’s for announcing the colours of my clothes, but I have a good memory and know my own outfits by heart by the shape of the neck line or the material the shirt is made of. I have collected tips on fashion from my sister and hope I go out into the world with at least my own acceptable style. I don’t walk out my door with my shirt on inside out or two different colour socks, not much more than anyone else anyway.

I pour my juice with a finger placed on the rim of my glass, stopping when the liquid hits it. With hot coffee this is done with extreme care. I cook my breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the utmost caution and diligence. I am extra nervous of burning myself on the stove, perhaps holding me back from cooking as many foods as some do, but I do not starve. Perhaps cooking is just not my thing. It is not everyone’s thing.

Shopping requires getting to the store, unless ordering from one of those grocery store sites online, often more expensive and somewhat lacking in available choices. This means I utilize my family’s help in getting there. Often families do their grocery shopping together, but when I do it I often feel like I am failing at going for my own independence.

There are customer service employees to be found in every grocery store who are there to help anyone who requests it. They would help me pick up anything I wanted, but I prefer to shop with someone who knows me and the food I enjoy. It makes trying to explain what I am looking for much much easier.

I have labels on my stove and microwave, allowing me to find each button and press the right one. These days burners are flat and difficult to feel, but luckily I still have one of the older stoves. Modern day progress isn’t always for the better.

Sometimes I play “guess what’s in the mystery can/jar” and I may lose. It’s a good thing I enjoy surprises from time to time.

🙂

I am extremely comfortable in my own house, where I know where everything is. When in my own house I can forget the uncertainty and unpredictability too often found in the rest of the world.

Of course even I move my own things and forget where I put them. Not having someone else in the house makes it inconveniently difficult to have anyone else to blame when I am at a loss for a particular shirt I wanted to wear or the last can of Diet Coke.

🙂

Who moved my…oh wait…yeah, that was me.

I use my tiny bit of remaining vision to sort the darks and lights. Again, my washer is marked with braille or tactile stickers. I have had a surprising lack of laundry disasters, except for one involving bleach and a pile of my sister’s favourite red clothes. Again, I ask her for her pardon on that.

I like to keep my things in the same place and to keep clutter out of my path. This is common sense and safety is important. Anytime I can prevent possible tripping, bruising, or other accidents I do.

Dusting, mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming are easy to put off when I could be reading or writing instead. Washing windows and cleaning bathrooms are not my idea of a good time. I don’t see the dust oftentimes and I already established I do not need a clear window to see what the weather is doing. I am not living in a spotless home and I am sure I have room for improvement. It can be easy to avoid these less than enjoyable chores when you don’t see each speck of dirt and every smudge.

I do love the smell of cleaner and laundry detergent. I like the spray mops and I use my hands in place of my eyes. This allows things to slip by me and a helpful eye never hurts. I like visitors and this keeps me constantly working at working at it, on the off chance that a visitor could come by by surprise.

🙂

I make my own bed and I wash my dishes after I eat. I even discover a spot on a plate or pan that an eye may have missed. In that case my sensitive sense of touch works to my advantage.

I don’t need the light on to find the bathroom or to get a drink of water at some ungodly hour of the night. I have survived through the day and I fall asleep knowing I did my best. We all must learn to adapt to new situations and to live in a way that works for us. I am no different.

Of course I am affected, but although I can never quite escape living a life without the benefit of sight, I make it work as best I can for me. When you realize that you can not run from something, you learn to embrace it. It even makes life more interesting at times.

***

Okay, so you asked for it and this post has ended up being longer than the previous ones. I am happy to answer any other question like it that you might have in the comments.

Next Monday:

Is your work or school life affected by disability? Describe some of these challenges.

Until then … Ask away.

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Spotlight Sunday

Bold Blind Beauty

Today’s Spotlight Sunday, Part Two: I am featuring Stephanae McCoy and her wonderful site Bold Blind Beauty.

I came across this helpful resource through social media and I immediately knew I had to get in touch with her, and I am very glad I did.

We spoke for a long time, one April afternoon over Skype, and I learned about her own life and how it inspired her to start a website to offer style, fashion, and makeup tips and trends, in a way that women who are visually impaired and blind can understand.

Stephanae has a quote on her site which took hold of my attention right away. I felt like we might have a similar outlook on life when I read it.

“Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail.”

That is precisely what she is doing with her website. This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote spoke to me and made me want to check her out and I hope you will too. First, here is our conversation.

***

When did you begin to lose your sight and how did you handle the change?

My vision loss began back in 2005. While looking in the mirror, I took out my right contact lens and since I still had in the left lens my reflection appeared as if half of my face was missing. Oddly enough I wasn’t afraid but I didn’t know what to think as I took out my left lens. Having high myopia (extreme nearsightedness), everything appeared normal once again except for when I closed my right eye. If you’ve ever looked in a fun-house mirror that’s how the vision in my left eye appeared as everything was distorted and it was such an eerie feeling.

The next day I called my doctor thinking that my new blood pressure medication was causing the issue and I was told to contact an ophthalmologist immediately. I was given an emergency appointment and my diagnosis (macular hole) was one of which I’ve never heard. The doctor explained how the nearsighted eye functions and why the macular hole developed. He went on to say that he was sorry he couldn’t do anything to restore my vision but he would refer me to a retina specialist.

Initially, handling my vision loss was not a major ordeal because I was under the care of a wonderful retina specialist who told me that all the statistics of vision restoration were in my favor. After my first failed surgery though I began to feel a little nervous; however, the second surgery was successful and I didn’t have any more issues until I developed an epiretinal membrane in my right eye. This was the point when life became more challenging for me as it affected the way I did my job, I began using adapted equipment to continue working, I was beginning to find it more difficult to read and while I was still able to drive, when the obstructions became too much for me to bare I voluntarily gave up driving.

As my vision continued to decline, I went for second and third opinions while simultaneously scouring the internet in search of a cure. In addition to the macular holes in both eyes I now had cataracts, a torn retina, glaucoma and way too many uncomfortable eye procedures in a vain attempt to keep my remaining vision. In view of all I was going through I reached my breaking point and felt I could not handle anymore, I was depressed, felt extremely isolated, lonely and very angry.

What was the hardest thing you found to deal with about vision loss?

The most difficult thing about losing my vision apart from not being able to see was the lack of general awareness, loss of information, and the negativity associated with blindness. It’s not an easy thing to go through however with the help of my blind and vision impaired friends I was able to see that I could still live a very fulfilling life with this disability.

Describe your own style before and after your loss of vision? How did lack of sight effect it?

I would describe my style as polished professional. After I graduated high school I went to business school and took a personal development course for women that taught me everything from poise to etiquette, style and elegance. I learned how to walk, sit, stand, speak, mannerisms, apply makeup and dress for success. Since I always knew I wanted to be a professional I learned early on how to dress the part to obtain my goal.

The loss of sight hasn’t greatly affected my style as I’m still the same person and I love being polished. Being able to mix and match colors has become a little challenging because I can no longer differentiate between shades of color. It’s easier to deal with colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. On occasion I do have to seek the opinions of family and/or friends on how a certain outfit appears on me since my mirrored reflection isn’t clear.

I find that shopping online for clothing and accessories is so much easier than going to brick and mortar stores mainly due to accessibility. Plus I enjoy taking all the time I need and being able to have shipments delivered so that I can then try them on in the comfort of my home. The added benefit with so much online competition is many retailers also offer free shipping.

What made you decide to start BoldBlindBeauty? What were you hoping to accomplish with the site? How did you want to help women who are visually impaired and blind with their personal style?

Two years ago I was approached by the President of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind to do a makeup presentation for the women of the organization at our annual convention. Part of my preparation for any public speaking engagement is researching my topic and when I was looking for material on the subject of makeup for blind/vision impaired women I found very little information.
I titled my talk Bold Blind Beautiful because as blind and vision impaired women we have to be bold just to go out and conquer the day. I intentionally chose the word beautiful as a descriptor because it was my small contribution to alleviating the negative connotation associated with vision loss. The segment went over so well and there was so much interest in it I thought hmmmm why not do something on a grander scale and see what happens? This was the birth of Bold Blind Beauty.

What has been the response you’ve had from people since starting the site?

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve had many women and a few men contact me via the site from all over the U.S., Canada, UK and other parts of the world supporting me and letting me know that it’s about time. The fashion industry does not cater to those of us with disabilities in general let alone people who are blind or vision impaired. I believe the reason is that people think because we can’t see that equates to our not caring about our appearance when nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, it takes a little more time and effort by providing descriptions but this information is essential for us to enjoy all that the industry provides to our sighted counterparts.

What advice or tips do you have for visually impaired and blind women about personal style, fashion, and makeup, as someone who was sighted before and now has become visually impaired?

The first piece of advice I would give is to get to do a self-evaluation and what I mean by this is style is individualistic and knowing yourself is the first step. Style like art, is a form of self-expression and communication which encompasses the whole person. It begins on the inside with our personality, lifestyle, values, likes, dislikes, mannerisms and it permeates all areas of our life.
Since the loss or lack of vision curtails the way we receive information it can be challenging but not impossible for us to develop our sense of style. Loss or lack of sight doesn’t mean we are non-persons who are unconcerned with how we present ourselves or live our lives. As long as we have the capacity to learn and are open to different methods on how we can partake in the world of fashion, we too can acquire the skills to be self-sufficient in this arena.

The key is honing our confidence and this piece of advice applies to everyone not just blind/vision impaired people. When we are able to assertively communicate our confidence how we are perceived becomes less important.

The last piece of advice I want to give is to have fun experimenting with your style, break the rules, this is how trendsetters are born.

What do you hope to do with your site going forward?

I want to inspire blind and vision impaired women and collaborate with them so that together we can develop unconventional approaches of defining our individual style, effectively using cosmetics, shopping for the latest trends. I envision the collective creativity of this demographic becoming mainstream in the fashion industry so that we can have a future as fashion designers, editors, stylists, photographers and models. Ultimately it is my hope that in so doing we can dismantle the myth that simply because we cannot physically see does not mean we lack vision.

***

I want to thank Stephanae for agreeing to talk to me about these things. She is greatly appreciated by us women who need a little extra help to find our personal style. I am so glad I came across her site, which can be found

Here,

And I know she will continue to offer a valuable service for visually impaired women everywhere.

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Writing

Fierce

I never would have imagined I would be known for being Fierce, but I’ll take it. I am honoured and thrilled to be featured on a lovely lady’s blog today. Check it out here

Bold Blind Beauty: Fierce Fridays

I will be returning the favour in an upcoming post here, where I will speak to her on her much-needed site where she focuses on style for the visually impaired. I will be finding out what made her decide to start a website about the need to bring attention to the visually impaired who deserve to enjoy fashion just as much as any sighted person does, and to dispel the myths surrounding the belief that if you can’t see you won’t care about how you present yourself to the world.

I am looking forward to speaking to her very soon about all of this and sharing it here.

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I also wanted to update some of the things I have on the go and hope to bring here in the following weeks and months:

I will be taking the plunge, taking THE WALK. I will be completing the CN Tower’s Edge Walk experience and will live to write about it.

I am writing a few essays, which I hope to submit to sites such as:

Full Grown People

I am still waiting to hear back from a site which publishes stories of female friendship,

Friend Stories

as they have already contacted me once, about a month ago now, to say my essay would be a welcome addition to the site.

This summer I will be writing two short stories, a romance and a sad tale, which I plan to submit to:

The Alice Munro Short Story Competition

and an author anthology, raising money for charity. I am looking forward to having my schoolwork out of the way so I can focus on these projects and this blog.

Within the next few weeks I also hope to have up a Spotlight interview with hair stylist and owner at an amazing salon:

To be found herehttps://www.facebook.com/GLOW.HAIR.STUDIO

All that and much more so stay tuned.

Herheadache

P.S. I wanted to give a shout-out, if she sees this, to my amazing sister who stayed late with me last night, working on improving and adding to the features and the look of this place. Thanks for your help KH.

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