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Monday 23 October 2017

Would being legally blind change the way that you see yourself?

Activist and Social Entrepreneur Caroline Casey iis legally blind, but has some sight at close distances. For Caroline, beauty is 'an energy' rather than a look

Caroline Casey at the Irish Independent Insider Magazine talk series
Caroline Casey at the Irish Independent Insider Magazine talk series

Every single one of us has so many bits and pieces of our bodies that we don't like. It gets harder to like your body as you get older, but for me being fit and strong and exercising and eating well is very important because now in my 40s it is more about my body's strength to continue living a healthy life.

I realise how lucky I am that my body works and I really appreciate my health. That is how I look at my body now.

In my earlier years, like any young woman, I was hyper- critical about it. The thing that I was most conscious of probably was how white my skin is or how blue my skin is even!

I used to yearn for that look other people who sun tanned got. I wished that I didn't have skin that would go pink in the sun, but having ocular albinism means that I have very little melanin in my skin so I was always conscious of that.

You'd go on a beach and nearly blind people you were so white, that was probably the thing that I really hated and struggled with.

I think one of the most beautiful things about any person is their smile, I know that sounds silly, but for me when I see someone who really smiles with their eyes, I think they are the most beautiful people in the world.

smile

There are things about my body that I can't change, but there are things I can do to make the best of it, and one of them is to smile.

One thing that was a benefit of my condition is my blonde hair.

It's not really thick, but it is really great that it is naturally blonde.

The best way for me to get highlights is going into the sun, so instead of a sun tan I get natural highlights, which I'd imagine has saved me an awful lot of money over the years.

I worry so much in an age of perfection and celebrity about how much pressure we all put ourselves under, particularly young women growing up. It was difficult when I was a teenager, but I'd imagine it must be even harder now.

I think there is so much more pressure. We have to try and believe in our beauty rather than comparing ourselves to others.

FLAWS

It's a cliche, but beauty genuinely comes from making the most of yourself and it is really about an attitude to life and you can see that in people. You can see that really beautiful part of somebody when they are confident in their own skin.

With age you grow more confident, maybe your skin isn't as good as it was but it's funny, you wear it better and to me that is beautiful.

Because of my vision impairment if I stand far enough away from the mirror I get this lovely blur.

I have imagined in my head what I would love to look like, but if I go too close to the mirror reality sets in.

As you grow older you get lines on your face and your body tone might not be as strong, but that is a part of ageing and ageing is a beautiful process in itself.

It's just getting used to that fact can take some time!

I think everybody is genuinely beautiful because I probably don't see the flaws as much as other people would. People are always going to look their best in front of me because my vision to see detail is less.

Beauty, radiance and abundance, those to me are energies I get from people; they are feelings you get from someone, with that wonderful confident joy about them and that energy is what translates in my mind as being beautiful.

That beauty is very real.

 

www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits

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