media monday – april lockhart covers ‘i love it’

Happy Monday!

Start your week off with April Lockhart’s cover of Icona Pop’s “I Love It.” This girl seriously rocks. I’m so impressed by her talent and confidence.

Peace,
Caitlin Michelle

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why you should embrace your limitations

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Last week I happened upon a great TED talk by Phil Hansen, a talented artist I’m ashamed to admit I’d never heard of before watching the video on YouTube. I don’t want to give the whole speech away, but Hansen basically talks about a tough point in his life when his hand developed a neurological shake and threatened his art career. Instead of “overcoming” (I hate that word for so many reasons, but that’s a completely different topic) his disability, though, he “embraced the shake” and made the bold claim that personal limitations are actually what drive creativity. Seriously, watch the full video. This guy is rad:

Inspired by Hansen’s talk, I thought about my own limitations and how they can be beneficial to me in some way. I grew up in a very artsy/literary family, so I like to think I’m a creative type myself. And I think having a disability, specifically my limb difference, has been an asset for me in that sense. When you have a physical difference, you have to search for new ways to perform ordinary tasks most people take for granted. I don’t tie my shoes the way two-handed people do. And the same goes for playing guitar, pulling up my hair, opening a bag of chips, typing on a keyboard, and a million other things that probably wouldn’t even occur to you. It’s as if I was forced to be creative from the second I was born.

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Bruce Lee by Phil Hansen, painted using only karate chops

I’m not an artist like Phil Hansen, at least not in the same capacity, but I do use my creativity in many aspects of my life. I put a lot of my ideas and channel my different ways of thinking into writing fiction, which I love to do as a hobby. And I’ll admit that my quick thinking has helped in various situations and experiences.

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Virgin Mary by Phil Hansen, created using peanut butter and jelly sandwich slices

Ultimately, I think the beauty of Hansen’s statement lies in the fact that it doesn’t just apply to people with disabilities. We’re all a part of the human experience and are all therefore limited in some way (most likely in many ways). So if there’s one thing I’ll take with me from this brilliant talk, it’s this, which Phil Hansen puts perfectly:

“Learning to be creative within the confines of our limitations is the best hope we have to transform ourselves and collectively transform our world.”

Embrace the shake,
Caitlin Michelle

 (artwork images from Phil Hansen’s website)
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media monday – aimee mullins for l’oreal

Have you seen this commercial air during any of your favorite shows recently? On the surface, it seems like any other cosmetics ad: a beautiful woman with perfect skin tells you why she loves the beauty product she’s supposed to be selling. What you most likely don’t realize (until the end of the commercial, of course) is that the woman, Aimee Mullins, is missing both legs below the knee. Mullins is a Renaissance woman who has done everything from competing in the Paralympics to walking the runway for Alexander McQueen.

The best part about this ad is that they’re not trying to sell an alternative version of beauty, like Dove and their campaign to promote healthy body image. Instead, this commercial focuses on Mullins’s ethnic heritage and skin tone. They don’t need to explain anything about Mullins or her career. They’re just promoting their product with a gorgeous spokesmodel. And at the end of the day, her lack of legs doesn’t even get mentioned. She’s selling makeup simply because she’s pretty. She’s getting attention for something that’s not her disability. And that’s all we can ask for, right?

 

Peace,

Caitlin Michelle

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media monday – how to put on bracelets with one hand

Happy Monday, everyone! Today’s video is of Danielle, a YouTube fashion/beauty vlogger who recently started a second channel to explain how she does certain everyday things as a congenital amputee with one hand.

Also check out her style vlog channel RazzleDaniDazzle for some cool fashion haul videos and beauty advice.

 

So tell me: what fabulous jewelry are you rocking today?

 

Peace,

Caitlin Michelle

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media monday – lauren scruggs shows off her many prosthetic hands

Remember the news story of the tragic accident last December when a young model and fashion blogger lost her left hand and eye after walking into the propeller of a plane? Well, just shy of a year later, Lauren Scruggs has released a memoir about her experience and recovery. Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family’s Journey of Hope is now in bookstores, and I plan to read it as soon as I get my hand on it. Since I was born without my arm, I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone just a few years older than I am now to deal with such a huge change.

In the video above, Lauren talks a bit about each of her prosthetic hands and what they do. She has everything from a hand specifically designed to help her do push-ups to a swimming hand with a paddle attached to the end (which I would LOVE to get, if anyone has any information on that).

I hope Lauren’s indomitable spirit inspires you on this Monday morning as you start the week after a nice, long Thanksgiving break!

 

Peace,

Caitlin Michelle

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