We chat with Sara (@nolegs_noworries) about her journey through navigating disability and starting content creation. She's a model, active speaker, and disability advocate who shows the world her quirks and inspires so many people in the process.
Now if you aren’t already following Sara, you will be after this! I got to meet Sara face to face to create some beautiful content together last week, and it was such a fantastic time spent. She oozes confidence, power and beauty while remaining so incredibly down to earth.
Sara’s journey has been a big one, so I made sure to have the best possible questions prepared.
You've created such a wonderful space on the Internet. Your page is so raw and empowering, offering a new perspective to people who have either faced similar things to you or not at all. Who is Sara and what inspired you to start posting openly online?
Thank you so much, it is very important for me to keep my page authentic and relatable. Let’s see…I am someone who wears many hats! A congenital anomaly led to me becoming a bilateral above knee amputee at a young age. I am a pharmacist by background, currently working in public health policy and studying a Master of Public Health. On the other hand, I am also a model, peer support volunteer, speaker, and disability advocate, passionate about increasing visible representation of disabled people on every platform.
Growing up in the 90s, disabled people were never seen on television, on catalogues or runways. There was a tendency to hide away the so-called undesirable parts of the human body. This lack of representation fed into my low self-esteem, something that stuck with me until I hit my thirties. Social media played a huge role in me learning to embrace my quirks (my disability). As a teenager, I didn’t feel beautiful or attractive because society’s description certainly does not include prosthetic legs.
As a result, I spent many years wishing away disability. However, seeing confident and gorgeous people with disabilities on Instagram, hitting their goals, made me realise we are all incredible individuals, worthy of love and respect, regardless of the number of limbs we have or how we do things. I worked on myself, shifted my thinking, which has opened doors to numerous new opportunities, friendships and made me happier within myself. I hope seeing me on social media, on the runway, in leadership roles, will help another person come to the same realisation.
Showing a range of diversity online can definitely be confronting for most, but you seem to do it with ease. We know this is not always a reality behind the camera. What has been the most challenging aspect of being in this industry?
Personally, it would be resisting the urge to hide myself, my disability and imperfections away from the public eye. This is an on-going learning process, and a journey I am grateful to have started.
Externally, the resistance from brands and industry to diversify their content and public profile – for them to tackle the fear of the unknown. I understand attempting something new can seem daunting however if we are not actively breaking barriers – and misconceptions – we will fail to grow into a society that is welcoming and inclusive. Time and time again, it has been proven that people, customers, society, want to see diversity. It is a slow process; one I am determined to continue. And also, I truly believe the more of us embracing our quirks, being our authentic selves, showing the good, the bad and the uncomfortable, will encourage others to do the same.
In terms of disability visibility and inclusivity as a whole, what is something you look forward to seeing more of in 2023? How can brands and companies improve this side of things?
First and foremost, brands need to realise and appreciate there is a broad audience, waiting to be catered for. From making shifts in their advertising campaigns to looking at developing innovative clothing lines that cater for both the disabled and non-disabled. I think often brands consider this to be a difficult step to take, however in reality, it would start with simply asking what people with disability need (or any other underrepresented group).
For 2023 and beyond, I look forward to seeing every body represented. Brands have the power to develop marketing campaigns that are more inclusive by actively engaging diverse range of models, and ensuring marginalised groups are not exploited.
We are all unique and we deserve to be seen. I look forward to the day when it will no longer be a ground-breaking story to see a model in a wheelchair or with prosthetics.
You truly rock everything you wear, an absolute icon. So of course we have to ask, what is your current fav TLC pick of the season and why?
Thank you so much! Current TLC fav...there are far too many to choose from! I am loving the colours and comfortable designs of the Du Soleil collection – especially the Maddy Mini Dress in Orange. I also adore the Costa collection, in particular the Capri mini dress and Ravello Mini Skirt (in all colours!). I told you I had too many faves, haha!
Thanks so much for following along while I chatted with the wonderful Sara herself. You can find and follow her on Instagram: @nolegs_noworries to stay up to date on upcoming events, modelling and of course her iconic reels.