Smashed make powders on a white background. The smashed me up covers red, pink orange and 2 nude lipsticks as well as red, blue and clear nail polish brushes.
Disability Rights

The Extra Expenses of Being Disabled

As I’ve got older. I have come to the realisation that due to my Cerebral Palsy, there’s a lot of self-care activities that I can’t do that a girl my ages does, for example, painting my nails and doing my eyebrows. I have accepted this as I’ve never really known any different, but for me, the acceptance isn’t the hardest part, it’s the fact that these difficulties come with a cost…

I pay to get my nails and eyebrows done, this is because this gives me a bit more normality and by doing this it helps my self-esteem. My self-esteem isn’t low because I feel as though my nails need to be done to regain some femininity. It’s because when I’ve got to ask my mum or my younger sister to help pluck my eyebrows it can be quite embarrassing so, therefore, getting them done professionally is a lot better for my self-esteem. I don’t have an issue with going to a professional because today this is seen as the norm however, most people get their nails done just because they want them done not particularly because they can’t do them.

However, to live life this way it comes with a cost and I am fortunate enough to be able to afford these costs. Come to think of it over the years I have taken the expensive option a lot to accommodate my needs…

Staying with the theme of beauty makeup is also something that without a disability comes with a cost so when you add fine motor difficulties to the mix products and brushes don’t last as long as, they should, yet again increasing cost. I often have to buy expensive brushes due to me being heavy handed as if not they don’t last as long without becoming worn. I also find that I get through make up a lot faster due to my jerkiness as I very often than not drop my makeup resulting in powder being smashed. Another daily task that is affected by my heavy hands causing an increase in cost is brushing my teeth. I find that due to my lack of control I go through toothbrushes more often again increasing expenses.

When I was younger, I had to wear either splints or inserts, meaning school shoe shopping would be done with great difficulty. I never hated my disability but I never embraced it either, so shopping for school shoes was hard because I just wanted regular and pretty shoes. But again, to have an ordinary looking pair of shoes that fitted my inserts and splints would mean that my school shoes came with a price tag. Yet again this was an important need for me enabling me just to be an ordinary child at school despite my differences.

I often chose the expensive alternatives when at restaurants as well. This is for not just one but two reasons, when picking my food out from the menu I try to look for meals that one I don’t have to ask for help with the cutting up (which depends on who I am with) and two are easy to eat. For example, making sure that there are no sauces that I could potentially get all down my clothes. Of which sometimes does result in me choosing the expensive option to reduce my anxieties when eating and to make me feel more at ease, especially when I’m eating in front of people I don’t know very well.

I’m not materialistic and I am grateful that my parents could afford these expensive options I am fortunate that I still can afford these. But why should I have to pay more out due to my needs and difficulties?

Thank you for reading,

Georgia Vine

2 thoughts on “The Extra Expenses of Being Disabled”

    1. Georgia Vine (she/hers) – I am Georgia, an occupational therapist working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Occupational Therapy at The University of Huddersfield. My passions aside from activism and occupational therapy are reading, theatre, and music, including gigs and festivals! I am Head Ambassador for CP Teens UK and a disability blogger writing about my lived experienced of cerebral palsy and life as a disabled occupational therapist. In 2021 I was named a Rising Star on the Shaw Trust's #DisabilityPower100. I am a founding member of AbleOTUK an advocacy and network group for occupational therapists and students with lived experience of disability. I am currently writing my debut book to dismantle ableism in occupational therapy practice. Email:
      Georgia Vine says:

      Thank you!! I love your channel ❤️x

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