Saturday, November 16, 2013

British disabled people strip off for stunning calendar designed to celebrate bodies with physical impairments as beautiful forms

From The Daily Mail in the UK:

A group of disabled people have stripped off for a daring new calendar celebrating the beauty of the human form.

The brave participants, who included Paralympic stars, followed in the footsteps of students, sports teams and Women's Institutes for the 'Undressing Disability' calendar.

Proceeds from the calendar will go towards a charity which encourages the disabled to enjoy fulfilling romantic relationships.

The models - who suffer from ailments such as cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness - posed in their underwear in front of London landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.

Among those featured is Nicola Miles-Wildin, who appeared at the Paralympics opening ceremony reciting Shakespeare.

The 34-year-old wheelchair user, who has juvenile chronic arthritis, is an assistant artist with the Graeae Theatre Company, Britain’s only full-time professional theatre company made up of disabled people.

July sees an appearance by England’s first blind fitness instructor, James O’Driscoll. When he went blind almost overnight, he refused let his disability hold him back.

Instead, he determined to break into his chosen industry and was once named 'Man of the Month' by Men's Health magazine.

Mr O'Driscoll's story is so inspirational he ended up becoming a mentor to January's star, 23-year-old Josh Lancaster, who was born with cerebral palsy.

While Mr Lancaster has limited movement on his left side, meeting the trainer through charity ‘Enhance the UK’ inspired him to pursue his life-long passion for the fitness and sport industry.

He now hopes to become a certified personal trainer himself, and is looking to feature in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Also appearing is actress Kiruna Stamell, who played La Petite Princess in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and appeared in EastEnders as Sandra Fielding.

Undressing Disability, a project by Enhance the UK aims to celebrate disabled bodies which are normally ignored by society.

Donations received from the calendar go towards the charity's sex education scheme.