Tuesday, 26 January 2010

More on Naked Tonight

There is more of Gok helping another woman feel fabulous tonight and little bit more of me too....

How to Look Good Naked With a Difference.

Channel 4, 8pm Tuesday 26 January.

Please sign our Naked petition


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

How to Look Good Naked With a Difference

I mentioned in a previous blog that I'd been busy with a great opportunity, and I'm pleased to say that some of it is on television tonight. Late last year I was offered the chance to participate in "How to Look Good Naked With a Difference" and I jumped at the chance. I've watched the programmes before and have appreciated how much attention Gok Wan pays to rebuilding self esteem and re educating women to see the best in themselves.

I do feel very strongly that negative body image is a big problem for disabled women. Millions of able bodied women complain about trying to strive for physical perfection through diets, exercise and plastic surgery; but what about us disabled women for whom there is no quick fix through those routes? We have to learn accept what we have and make the very best of it. I think that makes us pretty strong, formidable, sexy women.

And who dictates what physical perfection is? Who is our judge & jury? Is there some illusive organisation that dictates who is imperfect? Or is it just us as women running ourselves down? As a disabled model I often feel under scrutiny, but not because I'm paraplegic with no stomach muscles, but because in recent years I've put on weight. That has caused me more stress before stripping for a shoot than being paralysed in front of the camera ever did! We need to learn to love our bodies for the fabulous machines that they are; love every lump, bump, scar, stump, slack muscle, stretch mark, rebuilt bones. They all tell a story and contribute to the women we are; pretty damn perfect!

I haven't seen the final edit so I'll be watching tonight, but I had a brilliant time during filming, everyone involved was great to work with and it was a joy to collaborate with two gorgeous and talented disabled presenters Natasha Wood and Nikki Fox.

Hope you enjoy - Channel 4 8pm Tuesday 19 January



Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Alternate Blog

I know some of you have mentioned experiencing problems following/subscribing or commenting on my blog without a Googlemail account. With this in mind I have set up another blog on Wordpress, they'll both say the exact same stuff so don't worry I'm not expecting people to read both!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Plump Pout!


Haha! It was worth the teasing as a child!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Firstly I feel like I should apologise to anyone who actually reads this blog; I intended to be a regular blogger, not someone who half heartedly thinking up random things to write about once every 6 months. Anyway, first 2010 resolution is obviously to blog with regularity!

In late November an offer came my way which was too good an opportunity to refuse, (more next week) and that along with my full time day job, law school and the madness that is December left me with little time to write an intelligible and articulate blog. There have been lots of things that I've read or watched which have made me want to log in and write or rant but without the luxury of time they would have been incoherent ramblings.

One of the things I did do was a brief appearance on Channel 5 News and "Live from Studio 5" talking about the use of able bodied actors in disabled roles. If you missed it, here it is: http://www.five.tv/programmes/daytime/live-from-studio-five/51510

Whilst I realise there are instances when it is acceptable to use an able bodied actor (a big budget film which needs to guarantee large box office receipts will cast a well known actor, or a script where the character acquires their disability some way through the film). As an actor I know most of us love playing the most challenging roles that are far removed from who we are, and playing a disabled character would be an incredibly challenging and rewarding (and awarding!) opportunity. Without those instances we'd never have seen the brilliant performances by Daniel Day-Lewis as Christie Brown in "My Left Foot", Tom Cruise in "Born on the 4th of July" and Hilary Swank in "Million Dollar Baby".

However, as a disabled actress I am against regularly casting able bodied actors in disabled roles; the work is just so thin on the ground, and though I know that is the case for the majority of able bodied actors too, I think it is only fair that if they can audition for disabled characters then equally we should be able to audition for characters where there is no explicit mention of a disability. Some casting directors have said there isn't a large pool of talented disabled actors from which to cast, this is largely due to the fact that until recent years, most drama courses were in buildings without sufficient facilities for disabled students. But this is also in part because the roles are so few, we aren't cast frequently enough to build on experience; there really needs to be more work done to nurture disabled talent so we can prove we've got what it takes.

That is why it was so great to watch "Cast Offs" on Channel 4 last month, finally a more positive and honest take on disability. Strong, well written and entertaining characters with diverse relationships on and off the island.

Why, it even had sex and disability....the last taboo!
Much more on that in a future blog. Until then, I wish you lots of good things in 2010.