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4 Women with Disabilities Show Us How to Rock a Bikini

By Sydney Cook
Posted On Apr 14, 2016
4 Women with Disabilities Show Us How to Rock a Bikini


Women with disabilities can be anything from athletes to performers and professionals, but how often do you see a differently abled person in an advertisement or magazine? Refinery29 took that rarity and turned it into something major, as a part of their Take Back the Beach initiative.

Several women with differing disabilities and individual backstories powerfully posed at the beach and pool in their bikinis. The unique women also shared how they gained the confidence to wear swimsuits despite the challenges they may face when trying to make it through the sand in a wheelchair or removing a prosthetic limb before entering the water.

  Caxmee, who had her right leg amputated after being diagnosed with bone cancer in 2005, pointed out that all women have insecurities due to the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect. She said, “People who have all their limbs intact and no scars complain about the same things.” As a body-positive advocate, Caxmee assists others on their journey to become as confident in their bodies as she is in hers. When it’s time to remove her prosthetic leg at the beach, Caxmee’s comfortability comes from her having to “walk the walk and practice what she preaches” as an advocate.   The 26-year-old program manager shared some words of wisdom: “If you are comfortable and you feel beautiful, then nothing can stop you.”  
Kristen Parisi, a New York public relations executive, was in a head-on car collision at the age of 5, which led her to be paralyzed from the waist down. For many years Kristen would go to the beach in jeans and a tank top – afraid she wasn’t beautiful or normal enough, until she decided to eliminate the pressure to look perfect.

“Why waste your life worried about what people think when you could be enjoying yourself?”

Danielle Perez, a comedian from Los Angeles, California, was hit by a Muni streetcar at the age of 20. After the accident, Danielle became a double amputee. Though she describes the beach as “a huge pain in the butt,” she goes to have a good time and look cute. Me too, Dani! “I’m really not concerned about what other people think or what they’re looking at or the questions they have. I’m there to enjoy the company of my friends.” Dassit.   We could all use that advice, differently abled or not.

Lacey Henderson, like the rest of these women, found the silver lining in her situation. The 26-year-old who became an amputee after going through cancer at the age of nine, is now a professional long jumper for the U.S. Paralympics. Fighting synovial sarcoma shifted her focus from feeling self-conscious at the beach to feeling fortunate that her body was functioning and healthy.

These stunning women show us how to enjoy our bodies and the beach!


Cover/Feature Photo Credit: Shutterstock