I’m sure many of you will have seen the recent footage of Selma Blair on the red carpet at the Oscars. The images show a confident, almost defiant, looking Selma standing proud with her cane for all to see just 6 months after her MS diagnosis. The pictures have set the MS World alight with excitement, and rightly so. Here is a fellow MSer who is in the public eye, rocking up to the Oscars with such swagger that you can’t help but feel inspired. We see a gorgeous woman using a cane, a stylish extension of her flamboyant outfit – and she wears it well. Her Elsa-esque cape billows up around her so that you almost expect ice to start shooting out of her theatrical hands. If this is what ‘disabled’ looks like, I’ll take it!
These images got me thinking. If this woman, so new to MS, can be so confident using a cane in public, why can’t I? From the get go I embraced using a crutch or two, I didn’t have much choice given that my walking was so wibbly. Luckily (!) my sister had had a skiing accident a year or two before and so I was given the crutches that she had acquired in France, which saved me the time and effort of harassing the NHS for some. I was happy to use these, mostly because they didn’t make me look ‘disabled’. Instead, I looked as though I had suffered some temporary injury, which I thought was more befitting someone of my age. All these years on I am still using the same 2 crutches. I have thought many times about purchasing some funky new ones online but the price always gets in the way. But just recently, and more so since seeing the Oscar photos, I have contemplated getting a cane. It feels like a big step, but it shouldn’t be.
A cane is simply a walking aid, that’s all it is. And yet I find it so hard to block out the connotations of old age, hunched backs, slow, depressing and shuffled walking. But if Selma can make a cane look as natural and elegant as Audrey Hepburn looks with a cigarette holder, then why can’t we all?
Photo Credit: people . com