Body positive model & activist Lucy Beall photographed on facetime by Emma Wondra.
Suffering from a rare and deadly skin condition, 21 years old Lucy Beall, student at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, is on a mission to raise awareness about stigmas surrounding disabilities and to promote inclusivity.
Lucy has Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB) an incredibly rare genetic condition which causes the skin to be extremely fragile, and to develop wounds similar to third degree burns. There is no cure, little treatment and a low life expectancy. Lucy has undergone many surgeries and despite her diagnoses, Lucy hasn’t let her condition stop her from achieving her dreams. She co-founded the fashion collective ‘Bare Revolution’ celebrating diversity not limited to ability, body type or gender. Lucy’s positivity and determination are a poignant exemple of resilience.
“Whenever I was a teenager, I didn’t understand why my body was considered unattractive. I felt beautiful and I liked myself, but I quickly saw that media portrayals of those with visible disabilities told me that love wasn’t meant for bodies like mine. My body was a punchline, something to be laughed at, something different and did not have a place within the realm of beauty. And I believed it because I didn’t see anyone else who looked like me in the media, and they were not considered attractive. I discovered I had to be this person for myself, because without people speaking out, harmful stigmas surrounding disabilities always exist. No matter what I do, despite my achievements, I am always asked if I am able to have sex. Why do you think this is? Why is my body and sexuality something that is open for public speculation? Those with visible disabilities are often subjected to such speculation. But that is changing. We do have a voice, and we are using it. And that is a gorgeous thing.“
I tell people all the time that your body doesn’t define you. I believe it for myself again. It’s a wonderful feeling.