See what Ellen Stohl is up to these days, including working as a professor at Cal State Northridge. Read this entry
I may be too burnt out on the genre, but if you’re a fan of gushy primetime soap operas, have a soft spot in your heart for 90210 AND are interested in characters with disabilities in the media (television and movies, etc)…
…then Riley (played by Riley Smith of ’24,’ ‘Motocrosser’ and ‘Freak & Geeks’ fame) is a character you need to get hip to. Read this entry
Hi, my name is angel and I’m a 19 yr old college student in Buffalo. Many of my friends have had a dating life; some are engaged. It always made me feel socially behind. I felt like i’d be in the “always a bridesmaid , never a bride situation.” I’m tired of that now. So I’m gonna try dating now.
Have you ever wanted to try modeling and live in the UK (or can get there easily)?
There is an upcoming photography project looking for you, searching for disabled models (and absolutely no experience is necessary).
Elizabeth Waight, an able-bodied photographer in London, is the creative mind behind this exciting project which she has beautifully called ‘ICONIC?’ (the project has been copyrighted).
The purpose of the project: “To subvert the current obsession with physical perfection” by recreating iconic photographs (from the last 100 years), but using people with disabilities instead.
So far Elizabeth has already created a couple of images to get the public excited about her project. My favorite is her recreation of the famous Steven Meisel black and white image of Madonna (where she’s lying on a white sheet, nude, smoking a cigarette).
She used Kelly Knox, a disabled model born with only one arm forearm, as the disabled representative of this image, and it turned out stunning. Read this entry
In episode 11, the girls get to do one of the best adrenaline rushes you can still get when paralyzed – downhill skiing. They head to Big Bear, Cali for the classic weekend ski getaway.
Tiphany and Chelsie have fun rating hot men during the road trip there, Chelsie can’t calm her nerves before she skis and Angela has so much fun she can’t stop smiling. Also, watch Mia prove paraplegics can conquer the top bunk!
SPOILERS AHEAD ***
The episode begins with a flurry of activity at Angela’s house – all four girls are there, plus Chelsie, to pack for their trip to Big Bear (Auti’s idea. She’s the only one in the group who has gone adapted skiing before).
Both Chelsie and Tiphany have gone skiing before their injuries, but Chelsea is definitely the most scared to go. She tried snowboarding her first time a month before her injury, and talks about how she’s afraid it won’t be the same.
Angela thinks it’ll be scary. “Come on a quadriplegic skiing?” Mia says this is the first time she’s ever gone skiing, and I think she kind of likes it that way. We get a cute shot of Angela and her 25 year old boyfriend (she’s 37), and calls herself a “cougar kitty.”
Their relationship is definitely getting stronger. Cody says learning to be with Angela has been an amazing growth process. “I had to battle immaturity to be her boyfriend,” he says.
In this episode, Chelsie and the girls dish on men (sex in the chair revealed!), three of them perform hip-hop at the Abilities Expo (and overcome a move gone wrong) and Angela finally finds a casting agent who thinks she has a real shot in the modeling industry. This is my favorite episode yet (by far).
SPOILERS AHEAD ****
Episodes 7 begins with the utterly adorable (and god damn is she in good shape) Chelsie rolling up to Auti’s house for a dance practice session with Auti and Mia (for an upcoming performance at the Abilities Expo in San Jose), for their wheelchair hip-pop wheelchair dance group, Colours ‘n Motion (“Auti’s Wheelchair Dance School.” Why doesn’t this exist yet?)
I like how Chelsie admits that after injury she wasn’t interested in wheelchair dance. “I thought it looked weird.” “But then I met Auti and it all clicked.” If anyone can prove that it’s not stupid, it’s Auti.
While they’re practicing, can I just say that Mia looks overwhelmingly cute in her uber-long braided pigtails? I don’t care if she’s 33. She can pull them off like nobody’s business.
After practice, they nom on some store bought sushi as they discuss their big performance (this will be the first time many of Chelsie’s friends and family see her dance in her wheelchair). “It’ll be the first time, like, you know, instead of like on videos and stuff,” she says.
In this episode, Angela tries to teach herself to pain again and dols out some killer advice to the ladies. Meanwhile, Auti is stressing out about not being able to *stay* pregnant and visit’s a fertility doctor and Tiphany and her girlfriend Miyoko see some rough seas.
SPOILERS AHEAD ****
This episode had A LOT going on. Let’s start out with Angela, the quad of the group. She decides after 10 years to try to paint again. Watching her struggle holding a brush with quad hands was fascinating. It is not easy learning how to still use paralyzed fingers. Been there. But why did she wait 10 years?
Auti, the 42 year old paraplegic of the group, gets a lot of screen time in this episode. I love what she said about her husband Eric. “Some people are surprised to see an able-bodied man with a woman in a wheelchair, but I‘m spoiled; I like to be carried.”
And I love Auti’s dog Bats, a French Bulldog. She makes “rolling” a dog look so easy. But this episode is all about Auti and Eric trying to get pregnant. She reveals she had an abortion after her injury. “I would’ve had an 18 year old by now,” she cries.
Her mom died of cancer right after her injury and she was in a rough spot (hence the abortion). And now Auti and Eric are having a hard time getting pregnant, they’re worried (well Auti is) that she might be infertile.
I wrote more about what “Push Girls” means to me for Easystand. Check it out:
Push Girls premiered last Monday, the new reality show on the Sundance channel profiling four “hot babes” in wheelchairs. As a babe in a wheelchair myself (hey I’ve been called that), this show is the televised messiah I’ve been waiting for.
The show’s premise – showing the world that you can still be beautiful, have a full life, a great job, have men that want you, and still drive a fabulous car (has been my personal goal since my injury).
You have no idea how frustrating it is for people to be shocked when you can achieve any of these things. A “push girl,” so say the shows producers, keeps on pushing despite anything that comes her way. I kinda like it. Read the rest of this entry…
Oooh baby. I woke up this morning thinking I had nothing to look forward to except an ultrasound and a day of writing ahead of me, but then I saw the first episode of Push Girls dropped a week early. Post-Memorial Day weekend blues cured.
SPOILERS AHEAD ***
The first episode is titled “Everyone Stares,” which couldn’t be a better name for the first episode (that’s one of the first things you’ll notice when you use a wheelchair – everybody stares).
And as the 12 minute preview (released last month) of the series gave me hope for, the first episode hit every note – the reality of dating in a wheelchair, health issues (that can come up at the worst times), and grief…dealing with the loss of mobility, which even the bling and fancy cars can’t fix.
I think one of the things a lot of people with disabilities were worried about when they first heard about the show was that it wouldn’t portray the reality of life in a wheelchair; that the girls might too pretty, too rich, that they had above average support from family and friends (or all of the above), and so they were not going to support it; but from what I saw in episode one however was a very accurate portrayal. Their lives are not rainbows and sunshine bubbles.
The Sundance Channel aired a 12 minute sneak peak of the Push Girls last night, and holy crap you guys, it looks better than I had hoped.
It’s not cheesy, it doesn’t have that “whoa feel sad for these girls” type of feel. No, the show has hit the nail on the head. I officially love the Sundance Channel for making this show. There I said it.
Hitting on guys when you’re out at the club, real life with your man in bed (“Yes I can have sex. Lots and lots of sex”) to being obsessed with wearing high heels even if you can’t walk, seeing all of this glossified on the small screen is very, very cool, especially for me personally; it’s like my life, but with a way less cool car (and I’m just glad to see a positive yet real portrayal of women with spinal cord injuries in the media for once).
In the sneak peak, you meet the four women starring in this new reality show, Tiphany, Auti, Mia and Angela. My impressions:
– Auti, a woman I’ve admired in the disability community since I was injured and have always coveted her rock-hard abs, turns out to be surprisingly funny. Who knew? (and I think she may be my favorite).
– And it is revealed that Tiphany, a gorgeous paraplegic (who I interviewed for an article I wrote in Penthouse last year called “The Would You Girls”), is now dating a woman. Crazy talk!
– And Mia, she’s super cute; love the clip were she’s rating guys as they walk by….
– Angela Rockwood? She’s insanely stunning. Cheek-bones to die for….cheek-bones to die for…
Push Girls premieres on the Sundance Channel June 5th. Can’t wait!