Ladies and gentlemen, we have a bit of controversy.
GASP! But she doesn’t only have one arm! She has, like, one and a HALF arms!
Seriously, I’ve had a number of people ask my opinion about what she said, so here we go…
First of all, Sarah can describe herself however she wants. Let’s just get that out of the way right off the top. If that’s the term she’s comfortable with, then that’s her prerogative. My stance on how a person with a limb-difference is described, or how they describe themselves, has changed over time and it may very well do so again at some point. For now, though, my stance is this:
I’m not going to get my undies in a bunch about it.
Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. Generally, if someone says a person has “one arm,” what they mean is, they have “one full arm.” And that’s fine. I get it.
What’s funny is that even recently I went on a little rampage when a sports writer called Nick Newell a “one-armed fighter.” It’s a bit different, being that Nick has nearly two full arms, but again…what did the writer mean? He meant Nick has one full arm. That makes sense to me. Not something to be offended by or to get angry about. Educate, by all means, but throw a remote across the room? Nah.
And think about it…do we try to describe tall people by their actual height? Or short people? Usually not. So, it seems to reason that we shouldn’t expect the same when being described by others. In high school my friend Missy affectionately called me, “one point five.” I will not share what I affectionately called her. The nickname fit, ya know? And I remember having those conversations, my friends asking me how they should describe me. I’d be curious if they remember any of my answers, because I really don’t. I assume many of them consisted of, “Uh…I dunno” and the ever popular, “Whatever.”
The truth is, the length of my arm or how someone describes it is so far down on the list of who I am as a person, it’s just not worth worrying about.
That said, sometimes the accuracy is super important. Like when I chose the name for this website. LivingOneArmed.com didn’t ring true for me. Or, frankly, sound as good.
So, now you know my thoughts on the subject.
What are yours?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
P.S. I was only watching The Bachelor because Sarah was on it. And I don’t have cable. And I was sick. Otherwise I would have been watching football. And farting.
That said…I’m totally #TeamSarah. And checkout these awesome tweets I saw last night!
I’m watching the bachelor @onevanillabean haha, I have a crush on the girl missing an arm, her smile/personality loved it!
— JC Gibbs (@JCGibbsDC) January 8, 2013
“Having one arm doesn’t define who I am inside.” Ooh, we think Sarah is pretty awesome. #bachelor
— People magazine (@peoplemag) January 8, 2013