"What's wrong with your hand?" #MyBeautyMySay

Dove have launched a wonderful campaign #MyBeautyMySay to inspire and empower women to rise against beauty being used against them. Dove asked us* to partner up with this campaign, and we're delighted to, because we believe, like Dove, that beauty should be celebrated on our own terms, instead of our appearance being used to limit us. As a #DovePartner we want to reveal the ways in which the standards of beauty have personally affected us. Be sure to read our other blog post as part of this series: Wegan's story - "Too pretty to be gay!"

Watch Dove's new short film (1.30 min)- #MyBeautyMySay. It features the unique stories of 9 real life fab women who have overcome the beauty limits placed upon them. They're all pretty bad ass!

Megan's story - "whats wrong with you hand?"

Growing up, I tried any and every activity I wanted: swimming, rowing, ballet, etc. Nothing got in my way. Expect of course, the disability to my left hand. Even so, I gave everything a go. I'm not sure at what age I realized I had a hand that was very different from everyone else’s. I'm also not sure at what age I started to hide it with clothing or hiding it in photos. It’s something to this very day that I still struggle with. Showing the full me.

As much as I am very 'out' about being gay, I was not out about having a disability online until 2011. I still remember vividly writing that post, how I felt determined to get it out there. To tell the world that I only have the full use of one arm and one hand. My right hand:

"This is the part of this post where I am hesitant to type. It is a post I have wanted to do for quite a long time, not only for myself in some sort of therapeutic way, but also for you our dear followers. I do not want to seem like I have been in any way deceiving you but alas, in my way of coping, that is what I sort of do.

I have a disability to my left hand. It is not recent, I have had it almost since birth. I was born premature at 28 weeks old; 12 weeks early (yes 3 months!) I weighed a mere 1.14lb, basically a bag of sugar. I won’t go into complete details however as a result of medical negligence I lost the tips of my fingers to my left hand resulting in a great loss of function with further complications." -Introducing you to my hand.

I got sick of hiding it. But I also felt sick at the thought of people knowing. I had managed to conceal it so well in photos and videos, that when I did see a picture or a video of my hand, it would shock me. I saw my hand as a separate entity to me, an ugly part to me. A part to hide. That was until, I met Whitney. Slowly over the years, Whitney has helped me grow to love my hand as a part of me. In fact, she thinks I wouldn't be the person I am today were it not for my hand. She truly believes it makes me a better person.

It's funny that this blog is mainly about Whitney and I as a couple, and yet the most popular blog posts aren't about our engagement or Civil Partnership, they're about the disability to my left hand.

I was petrified to open up about my disability, and yet it's been so well received. I thought I would get lots of hateful comments about how I didn't conform to certain standards of beauty because I had a disability, and I have been pleasantly proven wrong. In fact, I've had so many other women message me that it's helped them to come to terms with their own disabilities, or embrace a part of themselves that they did not like, which is just absolutely amazing.

I'm still on a journey of self-discovery and love, but more and more each day I become more confident and proud to be me, the whole of me. I'm still hesitant to show my hand in videos or photos, but sometimes I manage to push through the fear. Recently, I showed my hand (aka 'Handy') in a boomerang video on Instagram and it was met with the wonderful comment 'what’s wrong with ur left hand??' I wanted to to reply 'nothing, but what's wrong with your manners'.

Luckily, others responded to this person for me. One person even commented, 'I always wish you'd post more photos showing 'handy', but now I see why you don’t.” That is exactly the reason I'm hesitant show my hand. I couldn't care less about anyone being homophobic towards me, but it hits me right in the heart when anything is said about my hand. However, it is what it is.

To be fair to the person who asked that “rude” question, I hardly show my hand, so they may have been genuinely shocked. If I showed it all the time, there wouldn't be any questions to ask. So I'm going to work on it! You'll see Handy more in videos and photos!

As I get more confidence, so does Handy. Handy constantly waves thank you to cars driving by and I always laugh to myself afterwards, wondering if the driver even noticed. But what's great, is that I don't even care. I am me, and I'm not about to apologise for that. #MyBeautyMySay #MM

Make sure you watch Dove's video, and comment to say that Wegan sent you. Which of the women featured inspires you the most? We love them all, but Jessica is just too fabulous for words. We need those shades. and the dog. K thanks. Feel free to share the videos to spread the message! 

We hope that you enjoyed this post and that it may help you in someway. What's your #MyBeautyMySay? Comment below, we'd love to hear! & if you loved this please, please do share it amongst your networks :)

*This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Dove blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are our own.

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