wendyDepending on who you ask and which country you ask it in, “beauty” is as fluid as the tide in the ocean. And when you add disability to the mix, it gets a lot more complicated. Some people just can’t see someone with a disability as beautiful, even if it’s Cindy Crawford or Brad Pitt in that chair. They just can’t see the pretty.

Wendy Crawford, a C5-6 quadriplegic from Toronto, Canada, understands this all too well, which is why she was asked to give a speech for TEDx Traverse City this past May. A former runway model in the ’80s, she was injured in a car accident while on her way to the airport to Japan for her first international gig. They were hit from behind on an off-ramp by an intoxicated driver. She was 19.

It was a ‘tragedy’ that the media ate up, and they would do the same today, sadly, positioning Wendy as the “tragic pretty blonde whose life has been utterly ruined.” People eat this stuff up. It mak