I believe there are few people more boundless than dancers. And as we, the Rollettes, aim to empower women through dance, we also strive to break free of the stereotypes to which women in wheelchairs are too often bound. We strive to follow our passions, in dance and beyond, regardless of our chairs.
This month we would like to introduce you to our own fierce and boundless Steph Aiello. Steph is an immensely talented makeup artist and vlogger with thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube. However, a part of what makes Steph incredible is her realness. She is transparent and down earth when she talks to her followers about everything from how to get the perfect winged eyeliner to mental health. She encourages people to find their true beauty not only outwardly and through the transformative power of makeup but inwardly as well.
Steph became a quadriplegic in a car accident when she was twenty years old, the day before she was set to begin cosmetology school. Steph saw her dream slipping away until she decided that she would pursue her career and relearn how to apply makeup in her own way. Steph has tenaciously fought for the past seven years to not only regain her independence but to build her own brand. In fact, after being encouraged by Tyra Banks, she has “made her hands her brand,” not letting the fear of being judged for her hand and wrist function stop her from pursuing her passion. Steph defines what it means to be strong and beautiful in her own skin because she does not let the labels of what a quadriplegic is or is not define her. She is not bound by her hand function or her chair or beauty standards. Instead she transcends them by creating art with her makeup brushes, using her perfectly human and undeniably stunning self as a canvas. Utilizing her body to make her art, the way the Rollettes do as dancers, Steph could not be more boundless.
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