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Posted On: 21st Nov 2014

See Beyond Disability

Fixer Bethy Rose-Bates
The poster challenges people's perception of disability
Bethy enjoys modelling and has continued her passion

Encouraging people to see beyond the norms of beauty standards, Bethy Rose Bates is showing others that her disabilities are not the focal point of the bigger picture.


The 21-year-old from Redcar in Yorkshire – who has fibromyalgia and joint hypermobility syndrome – worries that the attitudes of others can change once they discover you have a disability.


'I want people to realise that just because I have a diagnosis and mobility aids, it doesn't mean I'm a different person,’ explains Bethy Rose.


'A month before I was diagnosed my leg gave way and I fell down a flight of metal stairs.


'I went downhill very quickly and I am now on at least one crutch most of the time because my legs are so unstable.


'My life changed drastically as I used to be a ballet dancer. I felt that others would look at me and think “what a shame”.


‘I’ve basically had to rediscover myself and find new hobbies.’


After encountering emotional hurdles along the way, the Fixer eventually found inspiration in model Gemma Flanagan, who was paralysed due to a rare condition but didn't let that stop her from following her dream.


'I used to do modelling as a hobby,' says Bethy Rose.         


'But due to the medication I was on to combat my problems, I gained weight, lost all my confidence and felt my mobility aids ruined my image.


'A few months ago I saw pictures of Gemma, a beautiful woman who looked stunning even as she modelled with crutches, and I just cried for hours.


'I realised then that I could be disabled and pretty.'


Since seeing the photos, Bethy Rose has found a friend in Gemma, regained her love for being in front of the camera and pursued her passion once more.


To encourage others to see beyond disability, Bethy Rose has helped create a poster with Fixers, which asks people to think twice about the way they view it.


You can see her Fixers poster 'Pretty Hurts' below.


'I hope young people will see this, from school children up to university students,' Bethy Rose adds.


'It should make them think about how they treat individuals with disabilities and make them more conscious.


'Just because my body won't keep up with me, doesn't mean I am any less human.


'I am just the same as you.'


Help Fix it – Share this Story!


For disabled people, the workplace can be another hurdle.
Watch Tommy Gundry's TV story addressing this issue.



Homepage picture and top image courtesy of Richard Shepherd photography.

Author: Cara Laithwaite


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