'Disabled people are hot.' Robyn Lambird would like to clear up some of your assumptions.

Robyn Lambird wants to set the record straight about disability.

"It’s not always this tragic, depressing thing that the media makes it out to be," she told Mamamia

In reality, Robyn, who's gearing up to compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, says it's "something that a lot of people are proud of and just take in their stride".

"On the whole you hear that disability is something tragic, that you've been in some kind of accident and it turns your life upside down.

"That might be the way some people feel, but for a lot of people, it's just a part of who they are. [For me,] it impacts who I am as much as the fact that I'm queer, or that I'm uni student, or anything else."

Watch Dylan Alcott's Logies speech on disability representation.

Video via Channel Nine. 

Robyn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was nine years old, after her family moved to Perth from England. Now, aged 24, she's experienced first-hand how these negative misconceptions can affect people with disabilities, particularly when it comes to feeling empowered and comfortable in your skin.

"There are so many chats around being a victim of a disability, as if it's something really negative. You absorb those stories and it's hard to feel empowered and sexy."


On Instagram, she reminds her followers "that disabled people are hot. And that mobility aids aren’t a sign of tragedy, they are a source of freedom, which is totally sexy".

Unfortunately, Robyn says a lot of people within the community still feel de-sexualised or don’t feel like they belong in this space.

"I experienced it for myself when I go out with my partner, everyone just assumes he's my carer or my brother, or something… It happens more often than it should."

"I also don't move as gracefully or as fluidly as some other people, which is often assigned to femininity or sexuality. So, it's just trying to sort of align my body with the ideas that society has around what is attractive and sexy." 


She says visibility in media has a big role to play in this, which is one of the reasons she got into modelling.

"We have to be visible [in the media], we have to be seen, and that way the community has to care and know that we're a part of society."

Robyn first started out her modelling career by mentoring girls with cerebral palsy, and in 2016 she became the first adult in a wheelchair to model in a nationwide advertising campaign for a major Australian retailer. 

"It was pretty exciting to be one of the first, it made news all over the world... But by the same token, it was pretty crazy to me that it was the first time that had ever happened. It seemed like it was a really long time coming and that I shouldn't have been the first," said Robyn, who now models for Bella Management. 

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She also pointed that while it's important for brands to hire disabled models, it shouldn't be something that is celebrated when they do. 

"Disability is the biggest minority, one in five people have some kind of disability. So I'd like to see that reflected in the media. We shouldn't have to celebrate every brand that uses the disabled model, because it should just be the normal thing to do. 

"There's a lot of amazing people out there in the world, and disability shouldn't be a factor in choosing someone." 


Meanwhile, as society works on better representing people with disabilities and of all diversities, Robyn will be busy representing Australia in the Paralympics. 

The 24-year-old will compete in women’s T34 100m Wheelchair Sprint in Tokyo at the end of this month.

"I've been really training hard for the past six years, so to end up on the podium really would really be a dream come true."

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia. 

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