Oftentimes, running a blog means that there's an unspoken ask out there for both the glamorous and the very real sides of us, which leads to the question: if you have a disability, should you share information about it on your blog?
It's a very personal question, and everyone has different health concerns, levels of functioning, and feelings about how they deal with, and care to disclose what they're dealing with, which can be frequent, constant, or a permanent part of their lives.
I am struck with an abundance of deep admiration for all of the challenges that people have overcome and made peace with, fully embrace, and share with the world. As humans, our imperfections can be the most attractive aspects of us, and certainly are integral in forming who were are, our drive, and attitude in life. Fashion editor and blogger Jillian Mercado of Manufactured 1987 has the most killer style in both fashion and beauty, which I find to be a constant source of inspiration. She exudes incredible confidence and all-around really good, approachable vibes, like she could be your coolest and nicest friend, and is down to earth, despite having landed major campaigns, like modeling for Diesel and Nordstrom.
Mercado also has spastic muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, and has spoken candidly about it on her blog and on-air, even sitting down with Matt Lauer of “The Today Show” this past year. To me, she is a true success story to emerge from the blogging world, in addition to being one prime example to consider when debating whether you should share your disability and/or health issues with your readers.
Having a genetic, incurable vision disability since the age of 17 has caused me to do some restructuring of my life and my career. Over the years I've been skiddish addressing it, wanting to be treated just like everybody else without any special consideration. It's certainly formed who I am as an adult, and little by little I've felt more comfortable with mentioning small facets of it on my blog, for example that my eyes have heightened sensitivity and the need to wear sunglasses, ad nauseam. I'm realizing that sharing more information about what I'm dealing with through the outlet of my personal blog can certainly be a positive thing, further cementing my relationship with my readers.
Here's a few aspects to consider if you're on the fence about sharing:
Is it Getting in the Way of Blogging? If you've found that you've had to take a lapse in your writing and posting, or your enthusiasm has been zapped because of what you are going through, you may want to share, so that your readers know why you haven't been as consistent as usual or writing with the same zest as before.
Is It Unavoidable? If your blog includes an aspect, such as personal style photos that may make it obvious, consider sharing your journey with your readers. They will most likely deepen the personal connection that they feel to you, and if you are needing it, may get some great advice, support, and words of encouragement.
You're Proud of What You've Overcome Maybe you had a recent surgery, or it's a challenge to do your blog due to a learning disability or physical impairment, but you do it, and do it well. Share your story, and your readers may extra appreciate every post you write. In blogging, we strive to be relate-able, but also inspirational, and I think sharing your trials and successes only further reinforces that balance.
It Just Feels Right It might seem like the more you blog, the more it heads in a logical progression to share additional tidbits of information about yourself. Rarely would you start a conversation saying, “Hi, I'm Julia and I have ____,” but as time goes on, you may catch yourself increasingly thinking about when and how to share it.
What say you — have you shared a disability or health issue that you've struggled with on your blog?
What had the reader response been like?
Image credit: Manufactured1987