One of my favourite hashtags on Instagram is #BabeWithAMobilityAid. Search this hashtag and you’ll find thousands of Instagramers sharing their stories and fighting the stigma of disability. It’s been a lifeline for me throughout my recovery, helping me to feel less alone and more empowered as a twenty-something-year-old woman on wheels.
Today I’ll be sharing my top ten Instagram influencers who motivate me to use my mobility aids loud and proud. Here are 10 #BabesWithMobilityAids to follow on Instagram:
1. Annika Victoria (@littlepineneedle)
I’ll start this list off with Annika Victoria, the Australian Instagram influencer who coined #BabeWithAMobilityAid. A “science student by day and a seamstress by night“, Annika’s hugely popular social media channels focus on DIY sewing tutorials, sustainable fashion, and upcycled clothing. She also shares her experiences with chronic illness, disability, and mobility aids. Check out Annika’s YouTube channel and website for some fabulous sew-spiration.
2. Alex Dacy (@wheelchair_rapunzel)
Alex Dacy is the face behind Wheelchair Rapunzel, one of the most authentic and humorous disability-related blogs I’ve come across. This “boss babe” with 70,000+ followers advocates for disability inclusion and body image positivity. Her posts cover diverse topics: from life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy to ableism and social media censorship bias against people with disabilities. Click here to head to Alex’s blog.
3. Sophie Bradbury-Cox (@fashionbellee)
Sophie Bradbury-Cox has one of the most colourful Instagram accounts I have ever seen. Through @fashionbellee she aims to “inspire disabled people, as well as everyone else, that you can be in a wheelchair and still be fashionable and have a unique style”. Sophie has contributed to several articles highlighting the need for (more) disability representation in the fashion industry, including this one in Glamour magazine.
4. Lisa Walters (@damselinadress.blog)
Lisa Walters, a.k.a. Damsel in a Dress, is someone I stumbled across early on in my recovery (and I’m so glad I did). This Canadian blogger’s humorous posts provide an honest glimpse into her daily achievements and challenges living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). One of my favourite and relatable blog posts by Lisa is “Finding Your Purpose When You’re Sick AF“. To read Lisa’s latest blog posts, click here.
5. Clara Holmes (@rollinfunky)
Clara Holmes is a London-based Rollin Funky blogger and disability advocate all about fashion and self-love. In one of her posts, Clara writes: “It’s not body shape, or size or even physical abilities that gives a person confidence. It’s self love and that only comes from accepting and being comfortable with you who are.”
6. Kelly Barendt (@kelbarendt)
After being diagnosed with Friedreichs Ataxia (FA) at the age of 18, Kelly Barendt started a blog to help others living with FA or other rare diseases. My Darling Life with FA is an open and honest account of Kelly’s personal experiences – daily life, mobility aids, traveling with a disability, and more. One of my favourite things about Kelly’s blog is her “In between: What goes on between the beautifully curated posts?“ series. Click here to read more.
7. Natasha Lipman (@natashalipman)
Natasha Lipman is a chronic illness blogger and journalist from London who “loves vintage-style fashion“. Scrolling through her Instagram posts, I’m forever saying “that’s exactly how I feel“. It’s incredibly comforting to have someone else’s writing validate my own thoughts and feelings, helping me to feel less alone in the challenges faced with my disability. Undoubtedly, this resonance with other readers is what’s gotten Natasha over 25,000 followers to date. Click here to read Natasha’s blog.
8. Ardra Shephard @ms_trippingonair)
If you haven’t already read Ardra Shephard’s witty, wine-loving blog about living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), you better get right to it. Tripping on Air is an authentic, funny and educational corner of the Internet that I imagine to be an invaluable source of support for anyone dealing with a newfound MS diagnosis. Don’t forget to watch Ardra’s latest short film about MS for WebMD here.
9. Chelsie Hill (@chelsiehill)
Chelsie Hill is the founder of The Rollettes, a wheelchair dance team based in Los Angeles, California. After a traffic accident in her teens resulted in a spinal cord injury, Chelsie’s passion for dance led her to recruiting an empowered community of female dancers — all on wheels. Click here to read more about Chelsie’s story and opportunities to get involved with The Rollettes.
10. Brandy Lewis (@pufffaluffagus)
Last but not least, there’s Brandy Lewis. My favourite thing about @pufffaluffagus is the badass mobility aid photo shoot with Brandy wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit / white velvet dress and heels. Brandy has also written a great article, “How My Disability Reshaped My Friendships“, highlighting how chronic illness, (in)accessibility, and social media have intertwined and influenced her relationships and support system.
In conclusion: Thank you, ladies, to each of you for sharing your stories and showing your vulnerability and your resilience. You’ve all been a role model to me and many other #BabesWithMobilityAids worldwide.