This past fall I was presented with an unexpected, yet intriguing opportunity. I was contacted through this blog and invited to participate in the filming of a music video. Lacking both dancing and singing talent, I knew that sight unseen would be the only way I would ever be in a music video. I jumped on the opportunity with very little information, excited about the experience and confident that I would end up on the cutting room floor once my lack of talent was realized.
In October I left Robby at my mom's and hopped onto a train for New York City. I was already feeling the impact of being pregnant, nauseous all the time and bloated. I desperately wanted to feel pretty and confident, yet in reality I felt fat, ugly and toxic. I tried my best to push my insecurities to the side and concentrated on enjoying the moment and the wonderful adventure of participating in a music video.
With the eclectic cast, I was unsure about what to expect or how I would fit in with the production. My insecurities were so strong that I was confident that everybody involved with bringing me to New York instantly regretted their choice when they saw me. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I also knew that I would regret not seeing my commitment through to the end. I mustered all of my acting ability, which granted is limited, and pretended to feel both confident and pretty.
I haven't heard anything since the filming and was beginning to believe that I was cut altogether. However, last week I opened up Facebook and was surprised to find a message from the artist. In preparation for the video release, a behind the scenes video was created. Nervously excited about what I would see, I wheeled into the bathroom with my computer (the only room in the house where I was confident I would be undisturbed) and clicked play.
Instead of being horrified, I was delighted by the behind-the-scenes video. Not only had time completely skewed my memory of how I looked on that day, but I was happy that I didn't appear nearly as nervous and insecure as I felt. Although the title of the song, SuperFreak, may be off-putting to some, it has a message that I am proud to put my name behind.
The song celebrates diversity in all forms. Although I don't view myself as a freak, I have come to accept that others might. Some perceive anybody with a difference with a filter of shame and scorn, ignorantly believing that different is automatically bad. I have long believed that different is neither good nor bad; it is simply an opportunity to be unique. This song parrots that belief and celebrates the individual.
I am prepared to hear from those who are offended by my offering myself as a "freak," but I stand by my participation in this video. I talk with amputees frequently who are apprehensive about showing their prosthetic. Fearful of the looks and words of others, they are resigned to live in the shadows. The looks of others should not define a person's self worth, nor should the absence of a limb. I know that people look at me when I am in public, and if they have a problem with my prosthetic showing, the problem is theirs alone. I am not ashamed of missing my leg, and I am proud of living my life as an active and happy amputee woman.
Chipping away at the stereotypes that are held about amputees, I am optimistic that we will eventually be able to change the perspectives and dialog concerning limb loss. This video provided another platform for me to share the message that life does not end with the loss of a limb. So, with no further adieu, enjoy the behind the scenes video. And yes, I promise to post the completed video when it is released.