The ‘Behind the Scars’ project continues to grow. There will soon be a photo shoot in New York. In London, I gave an interview for Channel 4 and I would love to share with you some of the stories and behind the scenes action. The photographer Sophie Mayanne does not alter the photos in post-production.
It was great to be involved in this initiative alongside Kelly Jackson, Deborah James and Michele Elman all of whom appear in the video. Kelly sums up her feelings by saying ‘I just want to show other people that it is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by.’
As Michele said ‘I would love to see a scarred princess,’ as scars are normally associated with villains. Thanks to Sophie for such an exciting initiative…’scarred not scared.’
You can follow all of us on Instagram: Deborah James (@bowelbabe), Michele Elman (@scarrednotscared), Kelly Jackson (@kellys_smile), Sophie Mayanne (@sophiemayanne & @behindthescars_) & Samanta Bullock (@samabullock).
If you had a scar would you consider to take pictures like these?
Unfortunately, being in a wheelchair for an extensive period of time can cause its fair share of problems. One that has a huge impact on your body as time progresses is posture issues. Now, even though I used to frequently do ballet dancing and modelling before my accident, both of which require an almost perfect posture; I still need to remain vigilante on any unnatural curves in my spine.
Throughout my 25 years being in a wheelchair, I’ve picked up some excellent tips on how to maintain a healthy posture. Some of them are quite simple, and others require you to increase your heart rate a little. So, here they are…
Use an exercise ball
This is one that I’ve used for a very long time, and I’d like to say it’s helped an awful lot. It isn’t too demanding on your body, and it takes just 5 or 10 minutes a day. Simply get an exercise ball, place it on the floor and lie down on it, with the ball positioned in the middle of your back. As you’re on the ball, you can roll up and down it to hit different parts of your back, and this should help iron out any imbalances.
Get your wheelchair fitted correctly
It sounds obvious, but this one is very important. Considering you’re going to be in your wheelchair 99% of the time, it needs to be comfortable. The back support needs to match the curvature of your spine so you’re in a natural position and you need to have enough leg support. Without these, you’ll be at risk of getting posture issues because you’ll be too far back, too far forward, or too cramped up.
Do some yoga
Yoga is a brilliant way for everyone to keep their muscles, joints and spine healthy. But, the reason why I love it so much is because you can literally do it anywhere and still receive the benefits. Most of the time, I either do yoga with a theraband at home or at the local park.
Go to the gym
I strongly advise going to the gym. Not only will it keep you fit and healthy, but you’ll also be able to complete exercises that are beneficial to your core. After all, a robust core is essential to maintaining a great posture. So, exercises that you should utilize if you are aiming to improve your posture would be, weighted back exercises, ab exercises and various stretches. You don’t need to go every day, but try to make it a regular occurrence.
Choose a better sleeping position
It may sound strange, but I actually choose a sleeping position that isn’t as comfortable as others but allows me to fully stretch out. This position is sleeping on your stomach. It enables your spine to be fully elongated, and therefore keep your posture intact.
Extra tip: Stay in tune with your body, and notice when it isn’t feeling right or your posture isn’t straight. Then, make sure you keep correcting it to prevent any long-term damage.
In this youtube video, I give 5 tips on what to wear on your legs. I explore what is comfortable, practical for my active and adventurous lifestyle and fashionable. I give some insight into the colours that I like at the moment, look at how one item can be used for a variety of looks, and give some ideas for wheelchair users in choosing clothes to wear as not all traditional clothes designs are ideal.
I focus on the practicality of clothes for travel and an active lifestyle so I go for clothes that do not crease and do not need to be ironed when I arrive at a destination. It means I can look good with minimal effort.
Take a look at the video in the link below, let me know what you think and give me feedback on the type of information you would like to see in future videos. I look forward to hearing from you. I hope that you enjoy it.
Just saw an article in Elle magazine, and I would like to share with you the lines that caught my attention.
…”And yet we’re in a moment where fashion is celebrating individuality and having open conversations about racial diversity and gender fluidity. Those discussions are reflected in the casting. Trans model Hari Nef walked the Gucci runway in a show-stopping all red look. Creative Director Alessandro Michele also handed the reigns of the brand’s Snapchat to her so she could record her fashion week adventures.”…
YES! The changing is happening. New designers are coming, with innovation and a totally different set mind.
And here is the point: … “So are times changing? Slowly. An AW16 diversity report from theukfashionspot.co.uk notes that less than a quarter of all the models who walked this season were people of colour. That means that in all four cities combined, 75.25% of the models cast were white…”
As you can see we are still talking about colours, what to say about plus-sized and disabled ?? Yes, things are changing slowly but we need more.
My question is: – What do you suggest for us to make this change and integrate more diversity and equality in the fashion industry?? All comments are welcome.
Lets opening it to debate, I would love to hear your opinion, and maybe together we can find a “solution”.
You can read the full article on the link below: http://www.elleuk.com/fashion/trends/longform/a31200/diversity-in-fashion/