Episode 15: Melissa Blake on her book “Beautiful People”

We are delighted to interview writer and disability activist Melissa Blake, who became a social media sensation in 2019 after an article she wrote resulted in trolling on her personal account. The negative feedback was extremely hurtful, but rather than concede to negativity, she decided to post a selfie every day for the next 365 days using the hashtag #mybestselfie. Her response was both a celebration and defense of who she is as a disabled person, and her campaign has drawn not only positive response, but has garnered attention for disability awareness and acceptance by changing the way we see and talk about disability. Melissa has written a new book titled Beautiful People: My 13 Truths about Disability that releases on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

You can follow Melissa on social media at Twitter and Instagram

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You can watch the video of our interview below. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified of new episodes when they are posted!

The featured image for this podcast is a photo mosaic that was built from the social media posts that Melissa has made over the past few years. We thought that the idea of creating the mosaic from her selfies and artwork would represent the broader issue that Melissa addresses in her book – that disability representation and acceptance needs better visibility that is only possible by “claiming your space”. The act of taking a selfie can be a celebration of self, but it can also be a defense of identity.

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