Sunday, March 15, 2009

"How My Legs Give Me Superpowers"

I watched this short speech last night and really liked what she had to say:

Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs -- she's got a dozen amazing pairs -- and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height ... Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be...

...A record-breaker at the Paralympic Games in 1996, Aimee Mullins has built a career as a model, actor and activist for women, sports and the next generation of prosthetics.
This speech continues the theme of body modification that this blog has explored for some time now as well as the question of what is and is not fair in the realm of athletic competition as well as in society itself:


repsac3 said...

While different, it's a little bit the same...

Some of what she said reminded me of a comment left on Meghan McCain's most recent post at The Daily Beast. I'll only repost the first two paragraphs, of three.:

Meghan, I just want to thank you for this piece. Politics are irrelevant here: the fact that a respected (in some circles) female public figure mocked the physical appearance of another female public figure... well, when I put it that way, it's not quite as shocking - which is the problem. Men catch all kinds of heat for making those types of comments, but somehow it's still acceptable when we women do it to one another. Kudos to you for holding your head high and calling her out.

I've been involved in body-acceptance work for about 5 years now. (From a different angle - I'm quadriplegic and work with other young women with disabilities.) I can tell you that it is the most satisfying work I've ever done... seeing a young woman in a wheelchair happily wear strappy sandals after being ashamed of her feet her whole life, or a young woman with scars on her legs wear a short skirt instead of jeans... well, it's amazing. And the best part about it is that yes, this work directly impacts individual women's lives; but it's also helping to shift the culture as a whole by showing strangers on the street that we may live in unconventional bodies, but we still feel good about them.
7:29 pm, Mar 14, 2009

It seems as though Aimee Mullins is doing similar work, changing lives and shifting cultural norms about what a "normal" (& perhaps even "attractive") body is, in her own way...

I find what all of these women are doing (including Meghan, and her response to being attacked for her weight--WTF?, BTW--rather than for her ideas), standing up and defining for themselves what their bodies do and do not say about them, to be inspiring.

To some extent, beauty is in the eye of the person doing the looking, but it's also in the heart and the head of the person being looked at.

I hope you don't mind if I refrain from mentioning anyone's dick, this time... It might be nice if we could be respectful of oth... ...oh, fuck.
Too late.

Anonymous said...

Repsac, thanks for bringing up your ginormous dick, over which Laura Ingraham is justifiably jealous. Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Fine.