Have you ever felt like your appearance or physical limitations prevent you from looking or feeling magical? I want you to know that you already are magical, and you are absolutely allowed to express that part of yourself, no matter what. Representation is so important, and everyone deserves to feel like a faerie queen if they want to! If you look a little different, take heart, dear one. There is space for you to be just as magical as your soul is.

I have a chronic health condition that makes it difficult for me to get enough calories, so my doctor and I decided it was time for a feeding tube. Getting it was an emotional process, especially since I’ve only ever seen images of feeding tubes taken in hospitals and certainly never as part of a glamorous photo shoot. I wanted to show myself and others that it’s absolutely possible to feel beautiful with a visible health aid device, so I asked my father and my sweetheart to help me with a photo shoot in the garden of a good friend. (Thank you Kaden!)

We worked collaboratively one early evening among the flowers, playing with poses and shooting techniques, and I kept tearing up as I was editing the photos because I knew these radiant, happy images would displace the vision of “sick person” that I’d been seeing in the mirror since I had the tube installed. I felt absolutely magical.

The response to those photos had me in tears too—so many people were messaging me to say that they also had a feeding tube or other visible health device and had never seen representation like this before. Many told me that they felt like they had to hide, that their visible illness made people too uncomfortable, so they purposefully isolated themselves. How heartbreaking! I truly believe that this community is capable of seeing past the devices and into the magic each person carries within. You are welcome here, exactly as you are.

While I’ve moved on to a PICC line for nutrition, a less visible health aid, I still rely on mobility aids and other things that provide visible signs of my illness. I’ve made a promise to myself to not let that hold me back from expressing myself however I want to. It’s delightful to don a flower crown when I go out in my wheelchair or to decorate the armband that covers my PICC line with flowers. I do it for me, and I do it so that anyone who sees me knows it’s possible to feel beautiful and magical no matter your limitations.

Ways To Feel Like a Faerie Queen

• Don a flower crown.
You can make it yourself or buy a ready-made version! No matter the day or season, a flower crown always makes me feel absolutely magical. If you have allergies or sensitivities, artificial flower crowns are just as magical!

• Highlight your mobility aid.
I remember when I first got a wheelchair, I was really self-conscious about it. My best friend came over and painted it purple for me! Before the pandemic, she’d take me on walks in my chair, and I got loads of compliments on it. Instead of trying not to draw attention to yourself, celebrate the things that give you a higher quality of life. That wheelchair allowed me to get out into nature rather than staying stuck in my bed all the time. That was definitely worthy of celebration!

• Decorate your health aid.
Put a pretty sticker over your feeding tube. Paint butterflies on your cast. Attach a little flower to your hearing aids, or hang strings of beads from your glasses. Fill your life with beauty—even the parts that might not feel beautiful at first.

• Remember that your flaws aren’t.
Seek out role models who have the same or similar conditions as you and allow yourself to see them as magical, so that you can see that in yourself too. Highlight your vitiligo. Draw flowers around your moles. Look for shapes and constellations in your scars, like you would find in the clouds above. Notice how your body mimics beautiful patterns found in nature.

• Ask for help.
If you don’t have the energy or ability to dress up as the faerie royalty you are, see if a friend will come help you!

• Embrace beautiful scents.
A little floral perfume or essential oils nearby can instantly transport me to fairyland. You deserve the pleasure of smelling something lovely, whether you wear it for others to enjoy too or not.

• Know that nobody has to witness your magic for it to be real.
I still sometimes put on sparkly makeup and a crown when I’m confined to my bed, even though nobody else will see me. It makes me feel magical, and that is reason enough.

• Remind yourself that you are worthy of feeling special.
It can be hard to get past the blocks of insecurity that come from visible disabilities or health conditions, but you are just as magical and worthy as anyone else. Remind yourself of that from time to time. You deserve magic because you are magic.

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Miss Wondersmith highlights the beauty of her Pacific Northwest home through her handcrafted glass and ceramic artwork, recipes featuring foraged foods, and carefully curated experiences for strangers (which she gifts through invites hidden in public places!). Visit her online at thewondersmith.com.

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