I am a Spaz.
To be more specific, I was born with Choreoathetotic Cerebral Palsy. That’s the kind of Palsy that makes you look like you just came from a frat party and are bobbing and weaving on your way to falling and heaving. In other words, I have mobility issues and an overall lack of grace when I’m doing anything but sleeping. Actually, I’m just assuming the latter. I may spaz in my sleep, too.
However unsteady and addled my movements may seem to others I am not an idiot and don’t appreciate being treated like one. It used to frustrate me to no end when I went shopping or to dinner with my husband that the majority of people glanced at me quickly, dismissed any notion that I might be able to engage in any kind of meaningful interaction with them, and spoke to me through my husband as if he was some sort of Ambassador for Cripples. I just wanted to be taken seriously and afforded the chance for others to grow annoyed with my pain-in-the-ass personality over time, not be dismissed at first glance.
Of course, I had completely overlooked the fact that most of the time I looked like I had just crawled out of a cardboard box. I had little, if any, regard for my appearance and thought looking presentable meant combing my hair and tucking the stained part of my shirt into my shredded jeans. After all, beauty is skin deep, right? What you look like isn’t supposed to matter in our world of political correctness. Besides, even if I cleaned up, dressed up, and looked up at people I would still be a short, round, old Palsy with no chance of changing how others saw me.
I was dead wrong.
I cleaned up, dressed up, and started paying attention to how other people reacted. The difference was undeniable. They looked at me and not through me. They stopped asking my husband what “she” wanted and asked me directly. They treated me like any other person; finally. Sure, there’s always a jerk that will be predictably narrow-minded but they’ve become the exception and not the rule.
Then there’s the clothes themselves. I started to enjoy shopping instead of dreading it. It became fun to figure out what looked good on me – doubly so if it was a bargain. Eventually other women started asking me for my opinion or complimenting me on what I was wearing. The Spaz became the Spashionista.
There are many, many blogs out there that focus on disabled rights, activism, and politics. This is not one of them. Although I’m not politically correct I am not going to discuss those issues here. With Spashionista Report I hope to share all the little tips and tricks I’ve learned, many of them geared toward others with Cerebral Palsy, to look better and feel better. Since there’s no chance of blending into the crowd why not shine and feel good about yourself?
If you get sick of reading me gush about fashion you’re welcome to visit my artist’s blog Gallery Celesta.