Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Taussig
A memoir-in-essays from Rebekah Taussig, disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty, reflecting on identity, accessibility, and representation and processing a lifetime of memories to paint a more beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.
Rebekah Taussig has been paralyzed for as long as she can remember but didn’t begin to unpack it until she was in her mid-twenties working on a PhD in disability studies. She began writing mini-essays about what it means to live as a disabled woman and exploring the limited ways we typically see disability: something monstrous (the Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). She longed for stories that reflected her experiences—stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.
Sitting Pretty offers an honest look at disability and its effects on identity, love, money, and self-worth. Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and the false idea of “ableism.”
Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. We all need more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. A timely reminder to look beyond ourselves and our singular experiences, Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.