Rachelle Friedman Chapman's life changed in a split second. When a friend pushed her into a pool weeks before her wedding five years ago, she hit the cement floor head first and was left paralyzed from the chest down.
Despite her injury, she's dedicated her life to try to find a cure for paralysis. But her latest endeavor is a tad more sexy. Chapman, a speaker and author, told A Plus that having a wheelchair is sort of like a deterrent, so she wanted to do something no one has ever done to prove a point. And a lingerie photo shoot was it.
"Because of the negative stereotypes it's very difficult for people with disabilities to find a lifelong partner who accepts them for who they are," she told A Plus. "[The photos] are to break stereotypes and put a different face to disability."
"It's OK to hate the disability while at the same time feel beautiful and confident in yourself, and I'm just learning how to do that," she said.
Though she appears as confident as ever, Chapman says the photo shoot was a leap of faith. When the accident happened, she told A Plus that she felt extremely unsexy — she lost muscle mass as well as her hair and has to wear a catheter. Her husband has been a huge help, but she says her biggest reason for doing the shoot was not for self-affirmation, but for other women. Women who aren't as fortunate to be told they're still a beautiful person, capable of being sexy.
This shoot is for them. To not only show that they're still who they are with or without the disability, but also to show that they deserve intimacy as well.
"This was about showing the world that people with disabilities are still sexual human beings."
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