Jessica Kellgren-Fozard has never been one to mince words.
Whether she’s discussing her disabilities, talking about the things that impact the disabled community at large or speaking about how the intersection of her sexuality with her disabilities personally affects her, she has always been incredibly honest and straight to the point in her videos. Here at TenEighty HQ, we cannot get enough of her straight shooter attitude, which is why we’ve decided it was time to celebrate it.
Here they are, eight times Jessica Kellgren-Fozard told it like it is.
Is Selma Blair Brave?
Should we call disabled people brave for leaving the house with their aids? Jessica maintains that it’s an act of bravery, especially when you first leave the house, and saying it isn’t “plays down just how scary and difficult it is”. The focus here is not on how amazing these aids can be and how they can drastically improve lives, but on the fear that comes with using them outside the house for the first time, regardless of where you’re going.
She then emphasises that attending the Oscars in and of itself requires bravery, due to the amount of scrutiny you’d be under and, with the addition of using a mobility aid and potentially having to explain why you’re using it, an exhausting experience. Selma Blair going to the awards show with her cane was, in fact, incredibly brave. If you don’t agree, then this video, sprinkled with anecdotes and honesty, may convince you otherwise. In Jessica’s own words, “It’s not okay to take inspiration from someone’s pain, but I think it is okay to take inspiration from courage.”
Are you better yet…?
An open and frank discussion about being asked if you’re better when you have an autoimmune disease. Even if you can’t personally relate, Jessica gets her frustration across very well, and we can guarantee you’ll never ask your chronically-ill friend if they’re better yet ever again. Be sure to stick with the much more appropriate “I hope you feel better soon”.
Banning Straws Hurts People // The Last Straw!
You’ve almost certainly seen suggestions of banning straws to save the environment. Perhaps, in and of itself, this seems perfectly reasonable, but, as Jessica explains, an all-out ban on plastic straws could hurt disabled people a lot – something many have not considered.
Not only does Jessica explain why she personally needs straws and why other disabled people need them – “We genuinely want to help the planet, but we can’t sacrifice ourselves in the process” – she also runs through suggestions often given by well-meaning people as alternatives and why they’re not always suitable for those who are disabled. She explains how environmental activists can help reduce plastic waste without creating, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, dangerous situations for disabled people.
Don’t Be A Jerk To People With Dietary Restrictions!
If you’ve ever scoffed at somebody requesting soy milk, then you probably need to watch this video, where Jessica discusses all the things she can’t eat and the difficulty of ordering food at restaurants. We can feel the discomfort of the situations she describes and she doesn’t mince words about the various people who make avoiding foods that cause her internal bleeding harder than it already is.
Being Femme and Disabled – Vintage Chatty GRWM
Jessica gave Rowan Ellis a high femme makeover and it delighted us. A discussion about how femininity intersects with disability, she noted that with hair curled and lipstick on she was treated better in hospital. She also talks about the infantilisation that often comes with being disabled, as well as about being feminine and a gay girl and the assumptions often put upon her about why she dresses the way she does.
For what could have been a basic makeover video, the discussions get pretty deep, yet everything still has a relaxed, chatty feel to it.
Poverty, benefits and lies!
A more serious topic about how changes within the DWP affect people with disabilities and the deaths associated with changes Iain Duncan Smith made in relation to fit for work policies. Did you know 19% of working age adults in the UK have a disability and only 50% of those are in work? Jessica talks about why getting disabled people into work could greatly increase the amount of money going into the country. Disabled people deserve financial assistance to aid them getting out of poverty and Jessica explains this very simply and effectively.
What NOT To Say To Your Disabled Relative
You’d think not saying some of the things Jessica mentions in this video would be pretty obvious. Clearly not. This video is always worth a watch to make sure you aren’t accidentally being rude to your disabled relatives or friends. It’s nicely put together and evaluates the common statements that make disabled people very uncomfortable.
Are You Disabled Enough? Physical Disabilities and Mental Health
Most disabled people have, at some point, experienced imposter syndrome in relation to their disability. Jessica talks about this during her 2017 Vlogmas series. Not only do we get to see the before and after of Jessica’s Betty Grable look, a serious chat is had about how women dress based on what they feel comfortable in. A serious and honest chat about how nobody should be told they’re not disabled enough and the fact disabilities cannot be placed on a hierarchy.
The video also ends with Jessica’s wife, Claudia, talking about cheese. Content we all need.
So there you have it…
Eight times Jessica Kellgren-Fozard told it like it is. This is only the tip of the iceberg of all the topics Jessica has covered, so expect another article about this at some point in the future. Do you think we missed any important videos? Let us know by sending a tweet to @TenEightyUK!
Want more Jessica? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:
- 10 Disability YouTubers You Should Be Watching
- Jessica Kellgren-Fozard Announces Merch
- Jessica Kellgren-Fozard Receives Honorary Doctorate
- Disability Online Panel at Summer in the City 2018
- LGBTQ+ Advocates Making YouTube a More Accepting Place