Everyone has a ‘flaw’ or something they are self-conscious about. And I, your dyke princess friend, am here to tell you to get over it. Because life is too sweet to waste hiding yourself, babe! Why am I particularly qualified to help improve your self-confidence? I was born missing my left hand, and now wear a sexy black bionic arm. So I know what it’s like to get stared at.
Self-confidence can be hard for everyone, but especially for people with disabilities. As someone that has one less limb than normal, I have had to develop confidence while being physically different, not to mention gay AF!
You can trust me when I say I know what it’s like to be insanely insecure, to the point of self-hatred. Not because of my arm, specifically, but because of the societal pressures put on women to be “perfect.” To be thin. To have long flowing hair. All that good stuff. Combine those standard pressures with being disabled, and I’m an expert in embracing my “flaws.”
Firstly, let’s stop calling our differences flaws. Our differences make us who we are, truly unique!
In large part thanks to the body positivity movement that I learned about on the Internet, my sexy bionic arm, age, maturity, my beauty routine, and following empowering, sexy queer women on Instagram, I feel genuinely confident. Through embracing myself, I’ve published numerous essays on disability, lesbian sex, and fashion; been featured as Thistle and Spire’s Girl Crush; spoke on academic panels; gone on amazing dates, and had fab sex.
So, dear reader, here are ten steps that this disabled lesbian has taken to reach self-confidence, that can help you embrace your differences. Because you are beautiful and unique and sexy and deserve to feel confident. Let’s begin, shall we? Take my bionic hand and let me guide you, babe.
1. Own it
Accept your difference. The sooner, you do this, the better. Whether it’s your acne or your stretch marks or your whatever, it’s a waste of your precious time and energy to try to hide who you are, physically or emotionally. For me, I haven’t had much of a choice. I have to leave the house and face the world to live my life, so I had to accept from a young age that I was different, physically and sexually.
Not only do I accept it, I f*cking own it. I walk with confidence and smile at people if they stare at me. I date sexy women and eat it up when they gush over how cool my arm is. Whatever you may self-conscious about, just own it. You can’t change yourself. The simplest way to do this is just keep going out, living your life — if you feel bad, fake it till you make it. Eventually, you’ll get there. I promise!
“What I would tell myself when I was younger. You aren’t ugly. You aren’t broken. Lesbian isn’t a bad word. The world isn’t just black and white; bask in the gray area. You don’t know everything…You will always be anxious AF but you will also be happy and accomplished.” @walkingintospiderwebs Read more about Dayna on our Girl Crush blog #tsgirlcrush #nye #bye2017 #crushedit
2. Educate people
If your difference is something that marginalizes you, you are faced with a shit-ton of ignorance on the daily. Trust me, if I had a dollar for every dumb-ass disability-related comment said to me, I could afford the lip injections I’m dying for. But sometimes, that ignorance would melt away once I nicely educated someone. For example, before I started wearing a prosthetic, lots of people would always say “I’m sorry,” after they asked about my arm. I say “you don’t have to be sorry, I have an awesome life.” Then they usually realize how ridiculous their comment was.
That being said, it is not your responsibility to educate someone about your identity. If you are feeling emotionally exhausted, don’t waste your labor educating someone. For me, personally, I like making someone realize how to better interact with disabled people. Or I like saying “I got hungry” when they ask, “What happened to your arm?”
3. Decorate it!
^ What he said. The moment I allowed myself to have fun with my disability, and to think of prosthetics as accessories, I loved myself even more. Instead of hiding my disability, my bionic arm highlights it, in the sexiest way possible. It feels like the hottest accessory I own… next to my black Thistle and Spire Constellation lingerie set, that is.
4. Do what makes you feel sexy
Speaking of my Thistle and Spire lingerie set, I LOVE to dress up in sexy outfits. Flaunting my sexuality has been a large part of developing my confidence. My biggest confidence boosters are wearing what makes me feel sexy: huge false eyelashes and all things black and strappy. Find what makes you feel empowered and wear the shit out of it. You can even post a thirst trap on Instagram, a la yours truly.
5. Don’t let society’s opinion of your ‘flaw’ dictate how you should feel
This is so important that I want to scream it from the rooftops. I get the message from society that I should be inspiring because of my disability, which to some degree I am, but if I only allowed myself to act ‘inspiring’ my life would be pretty f*cking boring.
6. Find someone to look up to
Meeting Angel Giuffria was a HUGE part of my journey to self-confidence. I saw her bionic arm, and I immediately knew I wanted one. I saw how confident, sexy, and unapologetically herself Angel is and I was so grateful to find a young woman similar to me, owning herself and being part cyborg.
Her arm GLOWS. How cool is that?
7. Go out and have fun in spaces where you’ll feel supported and comfortable
Might I suggest one of these fab lesbian bars?
8. Allow yourself to sometimes feel bad
This might be the most important piece of advice I can give. Being okay all the time is exhausting. Being empowered all the time is not realistic. Even once you embrace yourself, you are still going to have some days where you don’t want to leave the house.
I have moments where I want to put makeup on to answer the door for the delivery person, or put on hair extensions to walk down the hall to the laundry room, or put on my prosthetic to just hang out with friends. While these habits aren’t necessarily healthy, they get me through the day and make me feel better. I allow myself to feel bad, or to rely on certain things to make me more confident because I’m only human.
9. Have patience with yourself
If you aren’t ready to go out to Cubbyhole and toss back shots and dance with strangers, that’s okay. Maybe just getting one drink at a quiet bar is an accomplishment. When you are struggling with self-image, you need to be patient with how long it’ll take you to go out and live your life fully without thinking about your “flaw.”‘ And that’s fine.
10. Go out and slay
Deep breathes, positive affirmations, a poppin’ outfit, your favorite drink, then go out and slay the day. If I didn’t force myself to go out and take life head-on, I would have never started writing about disability, fashion, and sex. Then I would have never gotten to do this amazing video with Racked about my bionic arm. Slay, and life will reward you, babe.