Super Able


Some years ago I saw this TED Talk by Aimee Mullins – an athlete, model, actress (she played Eleven’s mom on Stranger Things!) and double amputee – about how what might be seen as weaknesses are actually gateways to strength. She talks about it in terms of her prostheses, how her “disability” becomes akin to a superpower when addressed with art, whimsy and technology. She gets to choose when her legs make her faster, make her taller, or make her a work of art (like the above, a prosthesis made by the Alternative Limb Project). My mother, an elementary school art teacher, is fond of saying that a mistake can become a masterpiece. I’d like to take that a step further, and say that sometimes, perhaps even most times, “mistakes” are actually gateways. The trick is learning how to step through them.

A distinction, not a disability

Viktoria Modesta is a British singer, songwriter and model.  She uses her prostheses to challenge the prevalent notions of disability. She says that “the time for boring ethical discussions around disability is over. It’s only through feelings of admiration, aspiration, curiosity and envy that we can move forward.”  Click the image above to read more about her and see more photos.