A disabled mother has won a beauty pageant despite the odds, and dedicated it to her daughter. The mother’s daughter also suffers from a disability. There have been a number of “different” people taking part in beauty pageants over the last few months, along with models having photographs taken showing off their medical conditions. Is it a sign that people are becoming more understand and accepting?
The latest inspirational mother is Katie Cooper. When she was born, she only had one full arm. Her left arm stopped at her elbow. Twenty years ago people would have seen that as a severe and debilitating condition but the young woman has made the most of life. She has never allowed her disability to get in the way of anything.
The disabled mother has always focused on her dreams. Having one arm has not stopped her from being able to get on with life, so the 20-year-old does not see it as a disability. However, that did not stop her from feeling embarrassed in school. It was after giving birth that she realized how much of a good example she needed, especially when she realized her daughter was going to suffer from cerebral palsy.
The young mother has become an inspiration to many. She has not only showed her daughter that being different does not matter, but is showing the world. The disabled mother has won a beauty pageant despite being different, saying it was for her daughter.
Now people question whether this is a move towards being more accepting, and why people have now become more accepting? Just a few years ago, a disabled person would never have dreamed of entering a beauty contest, let alone win one. Now Cooper has proven that it is all possible.
In the United Kingdom, the Paralympics of 2012 would have helped with this. The sporting event put disabled athletes at the top and showed that anything is possible. It showed that people are not different on the inside, despite looking it on the outside. This has possibly had an effect around the world.
The Commonwealth Games this year in Glasgow has also helped to push this idea. The Paralympians are competing at the same time as the able bodied athletes, just in their own categories. It shows that there is no real need to even have two separate events for all.
More and more celebrities and models are stepping forward with their disabilities and conditions. Colostomy bags are on show in photos and drips are being taken onto the catwalk. Having bigger names show that having a debilitating condition is nothing to be ashamed of helps many others. It also helps to strengthen a positive view of body image.
More work still needs to be done in this area, but it is at least a start. There is more positivity for those who are different, whether due to a medical condition that cannot be seen or a physical disability. The fact that a disabled mother has won a beauty pageant for her daughter is a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham