Appearance Disability Identity Interview

Wheelsnoheels: “You are Perfect the Way You Are”

This New year, we’re hitting back at ‘New Year, New You’. We believe that whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever you wear, whatever you do, however you dance and whoever you love, it’s up to you. Don’t let the new year pressures stop you from doing your thing. Start this year on your own terms.

Meet Gem, AKA: Wheelsnoheels. After suffering a spinal cord injury when she was young, Gem is living life to the fullest. The Wheelsnoheels mission is to show that there is a happy, confident life with or without disability and Gem uses her love for hair and fashion to prove it! Whatever you wear, Gem wants you to know that your style will always be good enough…

There’s so much pressure this time of year.

My name is Gem, and I’m am the founder of Wheelsnoheels which all started when I created an Instagram account.

I am a wheelchair user, after suffering a T10 spinal cord injury when I was nine. Before starting Wheelsnoheels, I used to be so self-conscious. I’d get stared at and have always felt people treated me differently. I used to hate my legs since I’ve lost all muscle tone in them, my knees are odd looking, and my feet are completely paralysed. I used to hide them away under baggy trousers, and never look at them. However, over time, I have come to love my body and who I am.

I have terrible circulation in my lower body so I’m always freezing. This used to prevent me from wearing what I want. Now, if I want to wear a glitzy party dress with UGG boots or trainers, I will. If I decide to wear a thermal vest under ball gown I will, I dress for me!

You are perfect the way you are.

The main message of Wheelsnoheels is to love yourself for who you are. To be happy with you. In a world where every photo is filtered 17 times, and everyone has fillers, botox and looks like a Kardashian, it’s hard to know what is real, and what is enhanced.

You’ve probably heard the questions “what are your resolutions?” or  “what are you going to change for 2018?” But, do we really need to change anything?

The answer is no. You are enough. You are perfect the way you are.

Happiness truly comes from within. Will dropping a dress size really make you happy? Will changing your style or your hair really make you happy? The answer is probably, no.

What you see on social media is not real.

Loads of the photos that we see online are enhanced and airbrushed. You’d be surprised…’Getting the right shot’ takes hours and hundreds of pounds worth of equipment. You see people being sent to exotic destinations all over the world, but what you don’t see is the crew of photographers, makeup artists, costume designers and lighting technicians accompanying them!

Over time, you compare yourself to those images and say “I wish I looked like that…”. What we don’t realise is that when we compare ourselves to others, we’re telling ourselves that we are not good enough. The result? A negative impact on our well-being. Well, I’m here to tell you that you are always enough!

After all, why be somebody else? Everyone else is taken!

Follow Gem:

Instagram: @wheelsnoheels_