The Liebster Award For 5 Special Ladies

I am honored that Alexa of Retro Spendthrift nominated me for a Liebster award! The award is meant to introduce readers to blogs they may be unfamiliar with.
Here's how it works:
1.    Answer the 11 questions from the one that nominated you. 2.    Choose 5-10 bloggers to nominate that have less than 300 followers. And show 'em some love by stating why! 3.    Give them 11 questions to answer. 4.    Go to their site to let them know you nominated them. 5.    Don't nominate the blogger that nominated you. 6.    Don’t forget to copy & paste the award pic!
1. What's your favorite movie or tv show? It depends really. Historical movies or TV shows with great costumes always interest me. I love Game of Thrones for the same reason, but I also love the storyline. I also quite enjoyed watching Project Runway, and of course I was a fan of Sex and the City. As far as movies go that's an easy one. I love any movies Gary Oldman is in. I think I've seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy about 50 times now. Another quirky movie I love is The Women On the other end of the spectrum Shaun of the Dead, Dogma and Fight Club never get old for me. 2. How did you decide on the name of your blog? I wanted something that would sound like it was informative and entertaining at the same time. I thought "Spastic Fashionista" was too literal and just plain "Spashionista" was a little bit tongue in cheek so I came up with Spashionista Report. 3. How would you describe your fashion style? My style is very feminine even if I'm wearing clothes that are quite structured. I also love color and look best when I'm wearing something a little flirty. Most of all its very genuine. I'm not afraid to buck the current trends as long as what I'm wearing is comfortable and suits me. 4. What's your favorite accessory? That's a tough one to answer! Do shoes count as an accessory? If so then it would have to be my shoes. It's very difficult for me to find beautiful shoes that I can wear so I take great pride in my collection. I'm also into bracelets quite a bit and received several for my birthday. I'm venturing into the world of scarves as well. 5. What types of blogs do you read? I read blogs about interesting people. Most of them are fashion blogs but I do have quite a few disabled friends that write very compelling blogs. I enjoy reading about someone else's take on life, fashion, experiences, etc. I read blogs about street fashion and about couture. Some lifestyle blogs really interest me as well. The one thing that's for certain is I never have enough time to read every blog I would like too! 6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Believe it or not, I'm an introvert who is trying very hard to be an extrovert! At my age I don't really have time to waste so I want to be able to communicate effectively with people and be charming about it. 7. What do you think is the best thing about blogging? For me the best thing about blogging by far has been finding people who appreciate what I'm saying and can identify with my message. I spent a lot of years doing graphic arts, which is a very solitary pastime, so I'm pleasantly surprised to see how many people are interested in what I have to say. 8. If you could hang out with any fictitious group of people (from a tv show, movie, book) who would it be and why? Wow, that's a hard question! I would probably enjoy being a part of the Harry Potter World. There's a certain stylishness to it - not to mention the appeal of all the magic. I like magic and fantasy worlds and characters when they're well written. I love some of the Superhero stories, too, because they are our new mythology. Who wouldn't want that? 9. Peanut butter, creamy or crunchy? Not a fan of peanut butter at all. Sorry! 10. How long have you been blogging? Just a little over a year. 11. What is one of your favorite lines from a movie, song, book, poem, etc? "There's a fine line between an outfit and get up." from The Women. "The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt." from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. "You've been all over - and it's been all over you." from It's a Beautiful Day.

Now it's my turn to nominate five bloggers that I think deserve this award. All of these bloggers share some form of limitation but it doesn't stop them from living and writing amazing blogs.
Stream of Caitlessness A blog about Caitlynn being one-armed and awesome. I adore this young lady!
In Search of It All Marlene's search for answers to help her move forward. She is thoughtful, insightful, and has a keen eye for the beautiful things in life.
Megan Mae Daily My local fashion blogging friend who is always interesting to read about and a pleasure to talk to in person.
Plus Black Blog Elle has impeccable taste and is determined - as am I - to transcend her disability and call attention to designers and products for women like us.
Do It Myself Blog Glenda also has Cerebral Palsy but her life and work really are inspiring. Although she has trouble speaking clearly Glenda has made it her mission to share her experiences. She has motivated me to take chances and tell my own story.
Here are my questions for these lovely ladies.

1. What motivated you to start blogging?
2. What do you get out of the blogging experience?
3. If time travel, both backwards and forwards, were a reality where and when would you go and why?
4. Which is more important, individuality or conformity?
5. Name three things you really love about yourself.
6. When dealing with others are you more kind than critical or vice versa?
7. What is your greatest passion in life?
8. What is your definition of true beauty?
9. Do you think women with disabilities are less likely to be thought of as beautiful?
10. If you suddenly had $5 million what are the first three things you'd do or buy?
11. What is the one thing you want to be remembered for long after you're gone?

Thanks again to Alexa for nominating me. I encourage all of you to check out the bloggers I nominated. I'm looking forward to reading their answers to my questions.

Follow Me Over To Highland Fashionista's Blog

I'm playing in Kristin the Highland Fashionista's sandbox today while she's on holiday. You can read my guest post for her series, Forty is the new Forty, at her website today.

The Value of Labels

As a fashionista I know the value of a label - even if I can't afford to purchase the article of clothing it's attached to. I have certain expectations when I see names like Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Donna Karan. I will forever associate the infamous Little Black Dress with Coco Chanel. I know that Alexander McQueen's aesthetic is going to be vastly different from Donnatella Versace's or Louis Vuitton's. Although it generally takes a while for the haute couture influences to make their way into the pret-a-porter world it is the shapes and colors that define the major labels that morph into what we everyday fashionistas lust after in the stores.

Yet, when I label myself a spaz, a palsy, or a cripple the reactions I get are very negative - especially among my peers.

"Don't say that!" They tell me. "You're differently-abled," or, "you're physically challenged," or, "you're handi-capable" - my personal favorite.

While I truly don't wish or intend to be offensive or injurious to anyone else I refuse to dilute or diffuse the specifics of my disability by reducing it to a politically-correct, technically flaccid, feel-good phrase. I have not arrived at this position unthinkingly. I think it's safe to say that anyone whom society deems as different gets ridiculed as they are growing up by other kids for their differences. We can spend the next 20 minutes debating the cruelty that all children at one time or another display towards one another, how wrong it is, how they're bullies, etc. I'm not going to bother with that. Righteous indignation doesn't neutralize pejoratives.

When I was in high school - a Catholic high school - I suffered no end of taunts and torments. To be perfectly fair, some of those were well-deserved, but the ones pertaining to my disability were beyond any actions on my part. There is no need to give an itemized list of the slights I had to endure but there is one incident that turned the tables and made me understand how to deal with verbal abuse. One of my classmates used to get infinite pleasure in calling me "Paul" every time she saw me.  Of course, her friends found this hilarious and she thought I was too stupid to understand that she was making fun of me. After hearing this for the better part of six months one day I'd had enough. "I'm not Paul; I'm Palsy," I spat back at her.

She froze. Her friends were mute. They all turned red and looked away. None of them bothered me again.

Oh, so I just have to be open, honest, and proud of the Outer Spaz? Aha!

No, I didn't arrive at the "aha" overnight; but I did arrive.

Nowadays if I'm approached by a curious child - the kind that run right up to me and ask, "What's wrong with you?" - I tell them. The way I deliver the answer depends on the child's age, but in general I explain that I was born this way and can't walk so well by myself so I use a wheelchair or crutches to get around. I'll answer even the snottiest kid's questions in the hopes the kid learns early in life that taunting a handicapped person doesn't faze them. Most kids aren't sure what to do, but even the shyest child generally warms up with a smile and a wink.

I've met many kind, gracious people that are simply terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing. This is one of the negative repercussions of too much political correctness. I can't tell you how many times I've been approached with an offer of help by someone petrified their assistance might be misconstrued as offensive.  My "labels" let them know that I'm very secure with who I am and they don't have to walk on eggshells around me. However, just because I'm comfortable with my Outer Spaz I never assume others are at ease with theirs. If I see other handicapped people when I'm out and about I do my best to make eye contact with them and smile - because I get it. Our journey is not an easy one but our path is not made easier by the averted eyes and nervous whispers that are not much better than stares and name-calling. My attitude, along with my wardrobe, makes my disability much less important, much less prominent, in the eyes of others.

After all, everyone has something they find physically challenging, and we're all differently-abled. I have Cerebral Palsy, and I wear it well.