Monday, January 6, 2014

Maysoon Zayid TED Talk

There’s rather a jumble of messages and ideas in this TED Talk, but I enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s worth the time just to hear an interesting person’s stories.

Disability And Hotness

Smart Ass Cripple - December 30, 2013

I’ll be honest. At first I didn’t understand what Smart Ass Cripple was getting at with this one. I’m not 100% sure I fully get it now. But this quote I think captures the main idea, and it’s a doozy:
"It says that even if you’re crippled you still have a lot to look forward to, if you’re hot. Yes, plenty of opportunity still awaits you if you have gumption and a can-do spirit and you’re hot.”
I’ve been getting more and more interested in the body image aspects of disability lately, what with the Mannequins video making me cry, and Tumblr sites like Disabled People Are Sexy. I think there’s a lot to think about here, and I love to see people exploring ways that everyone can be beautiful. However, I don’t think we’ve come all that far, really, from conventional standards of beauty. And I do think that people with disabilities who are also conventionally attractive have a markedly different experience of disability from those of us who are not. I won’t say markedly better, because there are so many other variables that affect each person. But if nothing else, conventional attractiveness seems to make it a lot easier for non-disabled people to relate to people in wheelchairs, people with prosthetics, people who use crutches, or who have other noticeable disabilities.

I’m not at all sure what this means, or what it should lead us to do, but I think it’s true.