About AM

August 09, 2018

I was discriminated against at the beauty salon because of my differences

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Dear AmoMama,

I am writing this today not because I need advice, but because I am hoping to reach some women who may never have thought about what it's like to be me.

I'm 27-years-old, I'm a game designer, I'm thin and blond and pretty. I want to find love, get married one day, and have a baby.

Oh! And I have cerebral palsy.

That's right. I have a condition that confines me to a wheelchair, leaving me with no control of my limbs or muscles, and making it very hard for me to talk.

Just so you understand, my muscles spasm and my legs and arms more without my volition. I can't help that, and God knows I wish I could. 

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Yesterday, I suffered the greatest humiliation of my life. My mother and I decided to have a 'me' day and headed to our usual salon for a manicure and a pedicure, to be followed by lunch at our favorite restaurant and maybe some shopping.

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How easy is that? Not easy at all. Our usual salon was closed for renovations, so we drove a little further to another, a very elegant looking place I'd always been curious about.

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My mother was giggling that it was like going to Elizabeth Arden's Red Door. it was so smart. (yes she giggles, and she's my champion and my best friend).

So we entered the elegant premises ready to be pampered and to be made to feel like movie stars. How wrong could we have been? As soon as she saw us, The salon manager - this perfectly coiffed and made up woman in - started towards us with this strange smile on her face. 

"I'm sorry, she says, can I help you?" And my mom said "Yes, please! We want a manicure and pedicure, and maybe a facial! Can you fit us in?"

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Of course, she could, the salon is huge and was mostly empty. She started saying we needed a reservation, but my mom looked around and gestured at all the spaces and she stopped.

She looked at my mother, talked over my head like I didn't exist. "I'm sorry, but we don't have the conditions to cater to someone like this."

"Someone like this", was, of course, me, in my chair, with my involuntary movements and my stiff hands. Some woman in the back somewhere said she "wasn't doing no spastic", and I hear someone else agree.

My mom just drew her self up and answered her right back: "You have the conditions, you just don't have the class!"

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We went back to the car, and I was crying like a baby. Is it so much to ask to want to feel like a pretty woman?

My body is limiting enough, and I overcome it every day, what I cannot overcome is the ignorance and fear of people who should know better.

When you see someone like me, please don't flinch away. Look at us. It's not easy being different, but what makes it agony is seeing the rejection on your faces.

We are normal, bright, and just like you. And we want the same things for the same reasons.

Me, for example. I wanted a pedicure so my toes would twinkle through my strappy heels for my date tonight. And no, my shoes don't touch the ground, but they make me feel sexy and pretty. Just like they do you. That is what I am. Just like you.

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If you need help or advice, reach out to us, and thousands of women just like you who are struggling with the difficulties of life. You are not alone, we are here for you, and we listen; so write to us anonymously using this form.

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