Photographer: Chris Thorn
Occupation: High school student
Hi Nicole! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a fighter. I have FSHD, which slowly weakens my muscles and makes day-to-day things like walking really hard. I will soon have an electric power wheelchair, which I will be using at school. Not being able to walk and do other normal things is more frustrating than anything. Because of my disability and the fact that I can’t smile, I’m shy and may not approach you, but if you take the time to say hello you would find I love fashion, music and hanging out with friends. I’m still learning about me. Some days I hate my body and some days I accept what I have because, at the end of the day, there is nothing I can do. I’m grateful. I’m just me.
What is your definition of beautiful?
Someone who is confident with themselves and their body. Someone who is accepting of themselves and others but also someone who isn’t afraid to show a less positive side to themselves.
If you were talking on the phone to someone you had never met how would you describe your appearance?
I would say I have dark hair, I’m half Asian, half white. I have brown eyes, I’m 5’4″. I don’t really know what else I would say. I think that’s it…
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I’m having a good time with my friends and family.
If you had the opportunity to change your appearance would you? If yes, what would you change?
I go through phases where I don’t like my hair or make-up but overall I don’t think I would change anything.
What are 5 things you love about yourself?
1. My hair
2. My eyes
3. My taste in music
4. My sense of humor
5. My clothes or style
What are your thoughts on plastic surgery?
I think you should try to deal with what you have. Focus on what you’ve got and work on learning to accept it if you can.
Is there anything you would like to tell people about your disability?
I just wish more people would talk to me and give me a chance. Sometimes people will and then they tell me that they used to think I was grumpy all the time because I can’t smile. It’s not true. It’s a first impression.