This Woman With Scoliosis Posed Topless To 'Explore The Stigma Around Disabilities When It Comes To Dating'

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At just 4 years old, Rebecca Dann was diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition that causes the spine to curve sideways. Now, at the age of 22, she is navigating the dating world, and finding all the new difficulties that come with putting herself out there. In particular, she was finding it hard to convey the sentiment that "she is fine," despite the fact that she is in a wheelchair. 

To help her get this message across to those in the online dating community, and to help her change the way people in general perceive others with disabilities, she developed an empowering photo series aptly titled I'm Fine



The series features a variety of shots, including Dann posing in her wheelchair and photos showing her back clearly exposed. In other images, she wore makeup to mimic a statue and had fellow students touch different parts of her body with colored paint.

Dann explains on her website that she started the project in her final year at university as a photography student. 

"It aims to explore the stigma around disabilities when it comes to dating," she wrote.

In an email to A Plus, the England-based photographer explained how the project evolved, "I originally started the project exploring dating with a disability, and it slowly turned into a project about me accepting myself for who I am. [It's] also a mixture of challenging people's perception of beauty and disabilities as well as telling people that 'I'm Fine.' I won't break and I am just like everyone else, even with my disability."

Dann told A Plus how nerve-racking it was to develope the project at times, "At first I was really nervous and self-conscious. I felt very exposed. When I started to think that these photos would be seen by all my teachers and classmates, it really scared me. (I never expected the WORLD to see my photos)."

"But I kept telling myself that this is something I have always wanted to do."

"And if I wanted to do it, it needed to be now because it was my final year in university and I wouldn't have access to photography studios so easily once I graduated. I don't think I was ever confident doing it, because each time it [the project] expanded. The first time I took photos, it was in a studio where no one could see me. The second time, it was an interactive art piece where students from the university came in — but it was still in a hidden away studio. The third time I did it, it was in my university canteen, meaning that so many more people were seeing me — people I didn't know at all — and that was scary!"

Looking back, Dann says she is happy she took steps to overcome her nerves.  

"I really exposed myself, but I'm glad that I did because each time I grew in confidence."

Dann hopes that the series reminds people to not be so judgmental when they first see someone, "The main thing I want people to know is to not judge a book by its cover, as cliché as that is. Don't just look at someone and assume something. Everyone judged Susan Boyle when she walked on the Britain's Got Talent stage and look what happened! It's the same with me."

She concluded, "Don't look at me and see my back and dismiss me. I'm just like you!"



(H/T: Cosmopolitan)

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