Sometimes you just need to be a zombieOct 06 10:33
I’m usually known as “She-Ra in a wheelchair” (instead of just She-Ra) whenever I do it. It kinda pisses me off, but what do you do, the large glaring power chair cannot be ignored. I have never let it stop me though.
I’ve always loved dressing up in costumes. After I got hurt, I loved it that much more. I don’t know why, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with needing to be someone else for awhile (for obvious reasons). Some of the happiest moments I’ve had since becoming paralyzed have happened while I’ve been dressed up.
And by the way, I don’t think it’s unhealthy to want to escape. We all need to every once in awhile, even able-bodied folks (and if you say you don’t you’re lying). And since my costume obsession reignited again post-injury, oh man there have been some crazy costumes…
Let’s see, I’ve been a flapper, Super Girl, Lady Gaga, Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct, a runner from Logan’s Run, Paris Hilton (that was a lame one), a member of Team Zissou (personal fav), a wench, a Renaissance faire lady, a nihilist from The Big Lebowski, Six from Battlestar Glactica, a mermaid, Batgirl, Jessica Rabbit, Pris from Blade Runner and of course a zombie.
All super fun. See - the thing is is that when you dress up, people think they can now talk to you, or are more comfortable doing so. They can stare without feeling like a jackass, you know? (which is good if you want to meet people too). And I’ve known so many wheelers who love costumes, and Halloween.
Why do we dress up? We dress up because finally for once it’s not about the wheelchair. It’s about the crazy wig that’s our heads, or the insane ensemble we’ve put together, or the flaming gun made from a paper towel tube that we're carrying. Whatever. We can be more than our wheelchairs for a night, and have a total blast that's better than any antidepressant.
And those costumed wheelers I mentioned? Yeah, I’ve seen some amazing costumes. My all-time fav is Mike Mohr’s Indiana Jones costume (he's a quad from Madison). He made a cardboard cut-out of Indy's Jeep and taped it to the front on his chair, he was dressed as Indy and there were cardboard cutouts of the blonde and Asian kid from the Temple of Doom on each side of him). Totally epic.
And you gotta see this costume extravaganza. Andrew Angulo, a para from Cali who runs Disabled Life Media, just released an amazing photo shoot - Zombie Pool Party (warning some gore/minor nudity). His site comes out with disability-themed photo shoots all the time, and this one is OMG my favorite yet.
It’s a series of photos (46) that tell the story of three women with disabilities (wc-user, amputee, CP) who are having a pool party, become zombies and end up attacking/eating the pizza delivery guy (also a wheelchair-user). Sounds amazing? It is (there’s even a couple moving gifs in there too). I have watched this about a half dozens times or so, and it has yet to get old.
Do you love dressing up? Why do you think it is? What’s the best costume you‘ve seen yet?
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.