This week the spotlight is on Nydja aka @sitandslay.
When I created this section, she was one of the first people I reached out asking for a feature. I am a huge fan of the work that she is doing through Sit and Slay showcasing women of colour with disabilities. It is so refreshing to log onto Instagram and see all these women of colour with disabilities, to see women like me. Thank you so much Nydja for this.
Who is Nydja?
Nydja is a just a regular 20-something young woman from North Carolina who loves to hang with friends and family, loves to have fun, and who loves to laugh. I have a really big sense of humor. I’m just someone who wants to help in the increase of visibility and representation for women of color with disabilities
Growing up with Cerebral Palsy definitely had is challenges and difficulties. Luckily, I have a great support system within my family and friends. I can definitely credit them for the person that I am today and I definitely believe that without them I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. Being born with any type of abnormality whether it be physical, mental, visible, invisible is hard especially when it comes to the public and the way that people treat you. In school I had people teasing me, laughing and saying mean things. The biggest way that I learned to deal with that is actually learning how to laugh at myself. I always felt as though if I laughed at myself nobody could laugh at me so that was one of the biggest lessons I learned in my childhood is not to take myself or my disability so seriously and just try to be the best me I can be. I would definitely say though the biggest challenge that I’ve had is the internal battle with myself. Growing up I never really liked myself. I never really saw myself in a positive light at all. This is something that I still struggle with today but I feel I have made so much progress! Creating The Sit & Slay Corner has really help me a lot. Growing up in a small town and not really having people around you who you can relate to is really hard. With Sit and Slay I really feel like there is a place where I belong. where I can be myself!
What do you currently do work or school?
I work from home. I did receive my bachelor’s degree from A&T State University (Aggie Pride!!!) I majored in graphic communication systems with a concentration in computer aided Drafting and Design shout out to all my Aggies out there!!!
The Sit & Slay corner is basically a place where women of color, especially black women w/ disabilities (visible or invisible) can see themselves and feel proud. I basically wanted to create a space that celebrated us and shows us slaying in our everyday lives. To get away from the narrative that just because you have a disability your life is supposed to be sad and that people are supposed to feel sorry for you. The inspiration for The Sit & Slay Corner come from me scrolling on Instagram and of course because I am a person with a disability I follow a ton of disability related pages. Let my just say that any acknowledgement for anyone with any type of disabilities is great and that when one of us wins, all of us win no matter what race you are. BUT I just felt as though i didn’t see enough women who looked like me, getting acknowledged as much as others . So I said to myself, “If you want representation you have to create it”
What does have people’s reception of The Sit and Slay Corner?
To be honest I was very nervous about creating the page because I wasn’t sure people were going to react to it. after the first post, I got a lot of positive feedback. when women send me messages saying what i post has brightened their day and boosted their confidence, it makes me feel awesome! I love when I can help people feel good about themselves. I want women living with disabilities to know that you can accomplish anything despite it all!
The representation of black women with disabilities in media is very scarce. When the disabled community gets any recognition of in kind whether it be movies, commercials, or Television, Nine times out of ten the actors portraying these characters are white males who more than likely are not disabled themselves so finding representation for black women with disabilities is like finding a needle in a Gigantic hay stack. It sucks but there are plenty of disabled actors, producers, writers, etc. If we want our stories to be told, I feel the only option is telling it ourselves.
What I want the world to know about women living with disabilities is that WE ARE WOMEN and we deserve to be treated as such. We may have unique situations but, we are women! we have dreams and ambitions and we live life like everyone else. We deserve love. We deserve independence. The thing that bothers me the most when it comes to society’s perception of us is the infantilization of women with disabilities. No matter how old you get, people will still see you as a child/baby. Whenever you want to talk “Grown Folk Business”, people give you a look like you aren’t allowed to speak like that. I feel like this will lessen as time goes on and the representation for disabilities in media increases. I know it will happen, I have hope.
- The Sit &Slay Corner is on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sitandslay/
- Twitter @sitandslay
- Tumblr http://sitandslay.tumblr.com/
- My Personal Instagram: Sha_kima
- Twitter @SHA_KIMA_
- Tumblr http://ny-jah.tumblr.com/
Thank you Nydja for taking time out for this feature. I wish you the very best in all that you do.