Despite how attractive the Venus de Milo statue looks in the Louvre, our bodies are not set in stone. Seriously, nothing about me is statuesque. The human body is malleable, but our society praises ‘chiseled features’, ‘rock hard abs’ and ‘granite jaws’ My body rocks for other reasons.
Like many artists, I too have gone through phases. Adolescence, puberty, adulthood, and then motherhood. Red period, blue period, cubism, I’m always changing. As a mother of two boys, the hasty transition from pregnancy to delivery to back to work could be called an amazing alien phase. The body is an astoundingly adaptive organ. Yet, as they say in my line of work at Accessibility Partners, labels are for jars, not people.
I am in the field of accessibility and disability advocacy. I help my technical clients make products like websites, mobile apps, and software accessible and usable to people with disabilities. Sometimes I encounter people who get confused when I mention that someone has a disability. They respond “Well, they don’t look disabled”. Like mothers or women at any age, there’s no universal body type. I don’t know what mom jeans are, but I was probably wearing whatever they are in college.
Dana Marlowe is the founder of Accessibility Partners, a disability and accessibility advocacy IT consulting firm. She is also the founder of Support the Girls, a network of nationwide affiliates to help facilitate the donation of bras and feminine hygiene products to homeless and low income women. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
Photo Credits: Emily Goodstein Photography