I recently had an ACL allograft - a ligament from a cadaver was grafted to the bones in my leg to reconstruct a ligament I had torn. To help stabilize the knee while I heal, I was given a knee brace. And obviously I’m on crutches. This is my third knee surgery (the second on this particular knee), so I’ve been here before. And I hated it.
I hate asking for help but I hate looking like I need the help even more. Having a knee brace, being on crutches, it makes me feel helpless and it makes me look helpless. It’s an obvious indication that something is wrong with me, and I hate that. In the past, I stopped wearing my brace(s) far sooner than I should have because I could not deal with the way people were treating me - both well-meaning people and a few very cruel ones. I couldn’t deal with the stares and the questions and the pity.
I was starting to be bummed out about that, since I’ll be on crutches for at least a couple weeks and reliant on this brace for several months, until I read this article, which talks about disability in the realm of the Mad Max franchise.
I hadn’t seen any of the original movies, so I didn’t know that Mad Max wears a brace. He needs a brace too! And it reminded me that Furiosa has a permanent disability and it doesn’t stop her from kicking all the ass. So I’m in good company. This (albeit temporary) disability might limit me in some ways, but it doesn’t have to stop me from being awesome, from kicking ass, from having fun.
And I’m going to be watching those original movies as soon as I can because...suddenly, I realize that I wouldn’t have felt so self-conscious of my brace with my previous surgeries if I saw an action hero wearing one, if there was more representation of people living with disabilities as opposed to filmmakers using disabilities as a physical/visual reminder of a person’s failings (because that is how I feel about mine - I have failed to keep my body intact, it represents how unathletic I am, how clumsy I am, etc etc).
Anyway, I highly recommend the article. It’s really interesting and really thoughtful!
Now on to the fun cosplay stuff: My local comic shop is hosting a party tomorrow night, and I will be going as Mad Max*. I originally thought of going as Furiosa**...but I can approximate his costume a lot easier than I can hers, especially since I have something so obviously in common with him.
*the one teeny tiny issue with this is that I’ve never seen the original Mad Max movies. Does that make me a fake geek girl??? (I’m mostly kidding about this, the people at the party won’t give a fuck, but I still feel somewhat guilty for dressing up as a character whose movies I’ve never seen...)
**but I’m also going to wear “Furiosa makeup”. As in black smudged around the eyes/forehead. I got a free tube of Mac’s Firm Form lipstick a few years ago that I’ve never used because it’s a STRONG look and I think it’d be perfect smudged around my eyes/forehead. Add in some cheap dark eyeshadow that I’ve had for ages (and will never use because I don’t normally wear eyeshadow), and I guess what I’ll actually be is a Mad Max/Furiosa hybrid haha