What is normal?

I do not think it means what you think it means, pt 2

What is normal? Ask 100 people, get 100 answers. The truth is, there is no such thing as “normal,” and that fact becomes more evident each and every day. We constantly hear about “normalizing” disabilities, especially for children, by making them more visible, more acceptable, and more a part of […]

What is brave?

I do not think it means what you think it means, pt 1

Let’s talk about this word “brave.” It gets used a lot, and very rarely in the correct context. From Webster: Bold; courageous; daring; intrepid; – opposed to cowardly; as, a brave man; a brave act. From Dictionary.com: Possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance. From Oxford Dictionaries: People who are […]

Words to avoid using when dealing with people with disabilities

It’s all about the wordplay

Labels are hard. Consider racial labels. Have you ever met a black person who is actually black? I’m white, but I’m not white. I’m an interesting combination of golds and pinks. Although after a long winter, I’m closer to white than not. Or, as has come to light in recent […]

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, summertime

It starts with the kids

How do you teach your kids to interact with, talk to, and talk about people with disabilities? Growing up, I heard a lot of kids ask their parents what was wrong with me, only to hear the parent respond “She’s sick.” I don’t overhear these exchanges nearly as much anymore. […]

I don't think I'd make a very inspiring disabled person. - Cameron Tucker, Modern Family

The GoFundMe Mentality

This is one of those posts that’s going to reaffirm some people’s opinion of me as “bitter”. I’m okay with that, because I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t at least a tinge of bitterness behind this writing. Yesterday, I saw on the news a story of an “inspiring” […]

Little girl as an adult in a Nationwide commercial

What is it supposed to look like?

Okay, vulnerable post time. Fair warning: This could get messy. I don’t know if it’s because of the way I act, or the way I look, or the fact that I simply got good genes, but most people don’t believe I’m 34. I have genuinely, seriously contemplated lying about my […]

Just another day at the SSA office in Charlotte, NC.

Your tax dollars at work

I’m not one of those people who are proud to be collecting government benefits. It is not something I talk about much, but I do it because it is a necessary evil in my life. Realistically, my employment options are limited due to my osteogenesis imperfecta and using a wheelchair, […]

grayscale of dumbbells

Get Fit Friday

This may or may not become a regular features on Bums & Bellybuttons. I can’t promise with any certainty either way. But, here’s my rationale behind it. I’m fat. I know people say that – and I’m guilty of it, too – to elicit compliments and choruses of “You’re not […]

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About that time…I shut down a skating rink

When I was 8 years old, I was involved in that girlhood tradition known as the Girl Scouts. To be specific, I was a Brownie – and only a Brownie – throughout my GS career. Scouting wasn’t really my thing. Even though I wasn’t going to continue on to the […]

Rachelle Friedman Chapman by Revolution Studios

Let’s Discuss Rachelle Friedman Chapman

I’d like to have a frank discussion with the media about Rachelle Friedman Chapman, the so-called “Paralyzed Bride”. In 2010, Chapman was paralyzed when she was thrown into a swimming pool at her bachelorette party. It was practically the definition of “freak” accident. But, it wasn’t enough to just report […]