***** SPOILER ALERT: ALL PUNS INTENDED*****
30 million amputees worldwide…
100,000 in the UK alone.
5,000 amputations a year performed in the UK
Shocking, isn’t it?
If you think they are struggling to find their feet, though, think again, because they DO have a leg to stand on, trust me, I was honoured and privileged to be present at the shooting of that #LimbDifferenceCampaign and met all the amazing 19 individuals featured, from 2 to 54 years old!
Let me tell you, they’re done with clicking their heels in vain and shooting themselves in the foot by not standing tall with both feet on the ground!
Their left hand may not always know what their right one is doing but they sure know how to stand on their own 2 feet and way more than you think can put their foot in their mouth just like you and me!
The thing is, they don’t want the world at their feet but they’ve had the ground cut underneath them for far too long. They want you to know that being short of a limb doesn’t mean being short of worth. They are not asking you to step into their shoes. Just step back, step down from the ugly world of bullying and lead by example: put your best foot forward, take the upper hand and let the others be hot on your heels!
I mean, if only you could have watched them like I did that day:
Not only none of them had even been in a room with so many likebodied (and hence, in many ways likeminded!) people, but NONE of them had ever been in a room where “their kind” was the majority!
As a result, when they entered the studio one after the other, (most of them had never met before) there seemed to gradually build up a taste of, if not elation definitely giddiness. An almost spontaneous sense of belonging, of fraternisation and freedom took place. No judgemental looks, nobody feeling sorry. Complete, mutual understanding floating in the air. They compared their “little leg”, or “little arm”, or “stumps” (their words, not mine!), exchanged funny stories about their prosthetics, compared them (different brands, different features for different uses, costs, etc…), shared their “turning points“ moments, all in the most natural way.
Throughout the day, in between shots, the prosthetics would come on and off without even a second thought and mostly amongst laughter! Can you imagine what a relief that was!
For me, the best part, the most beautiful and moving bit, is what I would describe as ‘the empowering therapy”, (otherwise known as representation), which is the whole point of this awesome campaign: when the kids got to meet the adults and witness first-hand that having a limb difference or being an amputee is just another way of being and living, not a lesser one…
Please give them your thumbs up, you know it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and let’s shake hands on it!
P.S.: Thank you http://zebedeemanagement.co.uk for letting me be a part of this memorable experience. Thank you for proving once again that you are so much more than a modelling agency and that you really do care about inclusion and diversity.
P.P.S.: You may not be aware of all the incredible organisations/charities/support groups in the UK and USA working to improve the lives of amputees or individuals with a limb difference, so I’ve tried to compile a list with their main contact details at the end of this blog. Please do let me know the ones I’ve missed out so I can add them. With many thanks.
See the full campaign: https://www.boredpanda.com/limb-difference-awareness-photography-zebedee-management/?fbclid=IwAR1Rpov4W5413d8ZXhWuvQJKnKPmtY6dKy8gARgOcq0tkzMMp7Elo87ROJI&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=organic#post-comments-area
Photographer:Elise Dumontet @elisedumontetphotography @skinwereinproject
Make Up: Neusa Neves @neusa_nevesloves_mkup, Charlie Duffy @charlieduffymakeup
Hair: Andrew Gregory @tattoo_pole_boy
Video: Denise Humberstone @deniselegeayhumberstone
Women’s underwear: Figlaves @figleavesofficial
Director: Zoe Proctor @zebedee_management
Chantelle @chantelle.cotton Jamie @jamieganeadaptiveathlete
Dan @theonearmedwonder Monty @montymerchie Ashley @orlandocyborgashley
Daniel @Daniel_melville90 Nancy @nancyharris_5 Andrew @tattoo_pole_boy
Mark @mark_sidwells Marleen @itsoktobdifferent Mollie @mollie_pearce
Kiryn @kiryn_zm_18 Kelsey @kelsey.zebedee.model Daisy @daisymay_demetre
Albie @albie_zebedeemodel Oakley @myoakleydoakley George @george_c_zebedee