Don't Call Me Brave
I get asked sometimes by strangers "How are you so strong?", “How are you so confident?" and I always find those questions so puzzling. I just never know how to answer. I'm just... myself.
It has become so normal to hide our differences that just walking in a store, in public, with short sleeves on, I have been called “brave”. Not being ashamed of who you are now qualifies as “brave”!
My name is Aviva, I'm 24 years old, and I live in Richmond, Virginia. I was born without my lower right hand and forearm. I was grateful growing up, that I had parents that treated me no different from any of my siblings. I was the same as everyone else. I danced, I played sports, I had friends. No special treatment.
Not everyone was so open-minded. But I have learned to take what I want. I have learned to take no sh#t or pity from anyone. There were times when I just wanted to hide. There are still days where I'll want to throw on a jacket in 90 degree weather because I don't feel like being stared at. But it has taken me a long time to get to this great place and I’ll still have that occasional bad day.
But then I remind myself:
This is my body.
My body is beautiful, my body is unique, my body is mine and I'm going to live my life the way I want. Go ahead and stare!
The most important idea for me is this notion of beauty. I can't tell you the number of times I've gotten the "you'd be so pretty if" or the "it's such a shame”s. Like, what do I have to be ashamed of? Why can’t I be pretty for you now?
For a long time I felt I needed to hide to be accepted. Now, I do love my body. It does everything I need it to do. Different is beautiful and there's nothing I need to hide from anyone.
#differentisbeautiful #nowrongway #unapologeticallyme
I love No Wrong Way Movement’s message of self love and self acceptance for all.