She Posed in Lingerie to Prove People With Disabilities Are 'Capable, Sexual Beings'
Rachelle Friedman Chapman was celebrating her bachelorette party in May 2010 when one of her best friends playfully pushed her into a pool. She hit the bottom of the pool head first and endured a C6 spinal cord injury, causing her to become a quadriplegic at age 24, according to her website.
Friedman Chapman posed for a photoshoot wearing nothing but lingerie to counter negative stereotypes about disability and sexuality.
“I saw in the media this seemingly overwhelming consensus that people with disabilities are unlovable, asexual and just plain not sexy,” Friedman Champman wrote in a Facebook post on July 27 accompanying the photo above. She added that she struggled with her self-image after becoming a quadriplegic, and the lack of positive representation in the media didn’t help. “I wanted to do something for not only my confidence, but for anyone in my situation who thinks they aren’t beautiful because of a flaw,” she wrote on Facebook.
To help spread her message of body acceptance and love, Friedman Chapman is inviting others to share what they love about themselves on social media with the hashtag #WhatMakesMeSexy. Her goal is to prove that people with disabilities can be sexual regardless of how they look. But more than anything, she hopes her social media campaign will help herself and others feel comfortable and sexy in their own skin.
“The paralysis is part of me. The catheter is part of me, but neither is all of me,” Friedman Chapman wrote on Facebook. “I’m doing this for those who can’t see past a wheelchair. I’m doing it to show that we are capable, sexual beings, and we are not to be overlooked.”
View more of Friedman Chapman’s beautiful photos from the shoot below.
Read Friedman Chapman’s entire Facebook post here.