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How I Learned To Accept My Wheelchair

Growing up disabled and having to use a wheelchair because of a rare form of spina bifida made me realize how different I was from an early age. Like most young girls, I looked up to different celebrities. Kate Moss was my hero, I loved her and really admired her. The problem was: I didn’t have anyone to look up to that looked like me. Growing up there weren’t disabled women in the entertainment world. I questioned my thoughts on beauty and if I was beautiful. For a long time I didn’t like the way I looked, I thought my wheelchair took away whatever beauty I had.

Two years after graduating high school, I was surprised and grateful to see a new reality show on the Sundance channel. It was called Push Girls. The show was based around four women in wheelchairs living in L.A., and I fell in love instantly. It was so refreshing to see these women live regular lives. They dated, they traveled, and they had fun. I finally had someone to look up to.

Tiphany Adams particularly grabbed my attention. She wasn’t afraid to talk about anything, even her sex life. It made me feel more confident in myself as a disabled woman. Tiphany really made an impact on how I viewed myself. I noticed right away how I became more confident with talking to guys and embracing my body. I’m still learning to accept who I am, but I can say that Tiphany Adams made me view myself in a better light.

Shalida is a Sophomore Journalism major at Point Park University. She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and updating her personal blog. In her free time she likes to cook, and read J.D. Salinger stories, and Sylvia Plath poems.  Originally from Cleveland, Ohio she is a huge Cleveland Browns fan  and watches every game. Besides football, Shalida loves fashion and hopes to write for a lifestyle magazine. This is Shalida's second year as a writer for Her Campus.
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