Welcome to Painting On Scars

4 Feb


So you’ve heard that “Kids can be so cruel”?  What a cop-out.  Adults are cruel.  Kids are constantly blunt and sometimes mean-spirited, but they have the chance to grow up.  Turning 30 this year, I realize that I’ve encountered more ableism over the past 10 years than any other time in my life – online, at dinner parties, and during my four years as an undergrad at Bard College when it was consistently rated in one of the Top Ten Most Liberal Schools by The Princeton Review.  If I ever have children biologically, they will each have a 50% chance of inheriting achondroplasia from me.  Whether or not they have achondroplasia, I’m much more concerned about the adults they will encounter in their lives than the kids.

Today ableism – a.k.a. disability discrimination – ranges from the yuk-yuk objectification of freaks, to the sick fascination with medical realities, to personal phobias of looking weak or unattractive, to well-intentioned charity that is truly patronizing That this so often comes from those whose own experiences of marginalization would logically render them better candidates for empathy has inspired me to start this blog. 

There also aren’t enough blogs about dwarfism.  There are hardly any blogs about dwarfism beyond childhood.  The community of dwarfs who have undergone limb-lengthening is non-existent, as if we want to pretend we were never dwarfs in the first place.  And feminist blogs for and about dwarfs who have undergone limb-lengthening continue to elude my Google efforts.

While my own experience invariably influences my perspective, I refuse to argue only about issues directly related to dwarfism and limb-lengthening.  Without knowing the word for it, I was raised to believe that if you’re going to support the rights of one minority, you’ve got to support them all.  In the end, they’re all related.

So consider this blog a continued reflection on the issues I addressed in this book.  Or The Most Inclusive, Progressive Forum Ever!  Or just another reminder that whether you’re discussing a sex issue or scar tissue, the personal is inescapably the political.




9 Responses to “Welcome to Painting On Scars”

  1. Douglas Nasrawi February 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    I, for one, will be reading it. I wonder, though, when we saw one other nearly every day for a month, was I ever gulity of ableism? (Never heard the term before now, but I probably do it). Would you have told me if I had?

    • Emily Sullivan Sanford February 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Oh, I totally would have. I’m not scared of you and you know it, Douglas 🙂

  2. Douglas Nasrawi February 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    btw…FIRST, BITCHES!!!!!

  3. Cj Stevens February 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    You have always been a great inspiration
    And I have no doubt you will overcome the insecurities of the short minded few! Hope all is well! I do remember when u brought the cameras to ccs for the special they did on you! How time seems to fly, hope all is well!

    • Emily Sullivan Sanford February 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks, CJ. Your words are terribly kind and your support really helps to calm my jitters. I hope all is well with you!

  4. Douglas Nasrawi February 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    good luck with the blog!


  1. Does This Feel Ableist To You? | Painting On Scars - March 10, 2013

    […] in the only good film about a character living with dwarfism in the real world.  And his famous “I don’t have dreams with dwarfs in them!” rant continues to provide me with a perfect answer to those who still snicker about midgets on […]

  2. It’s Dwarfism Awareness Month! | Painting On Scars - October 6, 2013

    […] you can read up on it under the FAQ’s, read about some of my dwarfish opinions here or here or here, or consider any one of the following […]

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