Kansas City-based Rebekah Taussig is a writer, teacher, and the creator of the Instagram feed @sitting-pretty. When she was younger, Rebekah says, she used to cut her wheelchair out of photos. “There is this ingrained idea that a mobility aid clutters a photo, but now I want to show that a cane, walker, wheelchair — or whatever someone uses to navigate their space — is part of the look of that person in an aesthetically pleasing way.” Here are five outfits she wore in a week…

Wheelchair: TiLite ZRa. Sweater: ASOS, similar. Jeans: H&M, similar. Shoes: Chuck Taylor (Rebekah has had these since 8th grade!). Shirt: Etsy, similar.

“I’ve been paralyzed since I was three months old. I can stand a little bit and I have body sensation, but I can’t walk on my own. I got my first wheelchair when I was starting first grade, because it was exhausting for me to try to keep up with everyone using my little walker. I was scared to get a wheelchair because I had only seen them in nursing homes before, and I had never known anybody in a wheelchair. But as soon as I got mine, I was completely enchanted. It was hot pink and it had my name on it, and I would make up dances in it.”

Denim jacket: Express, similar. Shirt: Sub_Urban Riot. Pants: Forever 21, similar. Boots: Kinney, similar.

“I love shoes that look like they’re for old men. These are old logging boots — they actually have lead in their soles. They’re super heavy and clunky, and they make me feel powerful and strong (they also look just like the boots on the cover of Wild!).”

Dress: Bethany Mota, vintage. Shoes: Modcloth. Tights: Modcloth.

“This dress is vintage and velvet. I was shopping for my 30th birthday party, and when I saw this, it was like, you belong to me, where should we go?

Dress: Vintage.

“This dress is vintage, too. I buy most things from consignment stores. They’re easier on the environment, and I’ve grown to appreciate things that are one-of-a-kind. If something has a hole or has been ripped in some way, if it’s been worn and has a story, that’s what I want. And part of that is because I value the uniqueness of my body. I cherish the things that are singular in my body, and that translates to cherishing the weird T-shirt, or the super chunky, ugly sweater that no one has worn in 30 years.”

Wheel covers: Izzy, design by Bodil Jane. Sweater: ASOS. Jeans: Vintage. Cameo necklace: estate sale. 

“Sometimes I feel like my ability to present myself the way I want to be seen is limited, because the wheelchair is so loud and immediate. As soon as people see me, and my age, and my chair, it’s like they write a story about that in their minds — what it means to them, and what it must mean to me. So, for me, the things that I choose to wear are in part a way for me to control that narrative in some way. I love these wheel covers for that reason — the first time I wore them, they changed the conversation. Instead of asking ridiculous or invasive questions about my chair, people asked me about the artist. Immediately, my wheel covers asserted that life in a disabled body can be engaging and playful and creative.”

“We found out we were pregnant on a Tuesday last fall, and the next Tuesday we found out my husband, Micah, had cancer. His last radiation treatment was on Christmas Eve, so he’s towards the end of this first stage of treatment. Sometimes still we’ll be like, Wow, all of this is really happening! This AND this! It’s surreal. The first few weeks of adjusting to it were by far the hardest. Now we have a grip on it a little bit more. We’re on the same team in terms of taking things one day at a time, and plugging along and seeing what happens. With our sweet, tubby cats, lol.” 

Thanks, Rebekah!

Rebekah’s first book, Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, comes out in August. And Rebekah and Micah’s baby arrived this month! His name is Otto. 

P.S. More weeks of outfits, including an author/illustrator and a marketing executive.

(Photos by Kelsey Diane Photography.)