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Should I Show or Hide My Disability in Profile Pictures?

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Profile pictures on school, social media and job recruitment sites can be a dilemma as a person with a disability.

Do I post a picture of myself in my wheelchair, or a picture of myself or my face without it?

I ask myself this question quite often because of discrimination and yes, fear of acceptance when it comes to who I am as a person.

It may be a past secret, but it isn’t anymore. I have posted one type of picture many times before, and then immediately wanted to change it to the other.

I keep asking myself: am I really sharing my true self? Is my wheelchair something that always has to be a part of my identity?

Acceptance can be a constant battle, especially with the role society plays in strengthening or weakening our confidence. Although my battle is filled with self-doubt and hidden tears, I have tried to learn that it doesn’t matter what other people feel about your pictures or life. If they can’t look past your physical appearance, they aren’t meant to have special roles in your life like a partner, friend or boss.

The same goes for your mental state. If people can’t look past the way you choose to share your passions or tell your story, they don’t deserve to be a part of it.

You are who you are and you go through what you do for an impactful and personal reason. Do what makes you happy, even if that means changing your profile picture or telling your story daily.

Your happiness is beautiful, loved, special and worthy and so are you. No matter who you are, embrace it.

Originally published: September 22, 2019
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