Robbie. Auckland, NZ.
I was born with phocomelia, which means the bones in my legs didn’t develop properly before birth. I learned to walk on an artificial leg that became known as. ‘Lucy Leg’ – because what toddler can say ‘pros-the-sis’! My leg was further amputated when I was twelve and all I wanted to be was ‘normal’.
I put all my effort into hiding my prosthetic leg. I didn’t want any boys to know I had it. I didn’t want anyone to know I had it. Then around seventeen I raised my hem and painted Lucy Leg fluro pink. I’m proud to be disabled. I’ve made it my choice and wear it like a badge of honour.
I really found myself after I painted Lucy fluro pink.
When I was younger I would play games with my girlfriends…’What we would change about ourselves’. It was never wanting to have two legs. I just said I don’t want hair anywhere I don’t want it. I don’t mind having only one leg, I just don’t like that it’s so hairy!
A lot of people see my success and my drive but they don’t see when I have to wax my one leg that’s covered in dark hair. Just because I’m out there in the media it doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I’m very imperfect and I’m okay with that. I know Lucy Leg makes me exceptional and bright and bold and beautiful but I also get pimples.
I think I have a bit of a funny relationship with skin. I have very flamboyant skin. I’ve got a lot of tattoos. My skin is my canvas.
I have my ups and downs and mine have been magnified by my experience of disability. It’s a challenge to improve my mental wellbeing when I’m also dealing with my physical challenges. It’s a rough journey. To be honest I’m ever changing, evolving. Right now I’m raw, honest, driven and open.