Alex Dacy, 25, from Chicago, was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a progressive, genetic disease that causes muscle wasting and mobility problems.
That means Alex has never been able to walk. When she was born, doctors gave her two years to live.
Now, Alex is enjoying her life and has become an entrepreneur – creating merchandise that raises awareness for disabled bodies.
Under the name ‘Wheelchair Rapunzel’, Alex has started posing in sexy photos wearing her underwear to bring disability into the body positivity movement.
‘There is a body positivity movement happening today and it’s so important for people with disabilities to be represented in this,’ she said.
‘People with disabilities can feel sexy in their bodies and we do.’
After noticing how little people like herself are represented in the body positivity movement, Alex decided to put herself out there on Instagram.
She has uploaded a range of photos on her profile, always receiving thousands of likes and a wave of positive comments.
There are pictures of her posing in her underwear to nude shots with words such as ‘sexy’, ‘strong’ and ‘beautiful’ drawn on her body.
‘I just love having the ability to advocate for everyone on a large scale like Instagram,’ said Alex.
‘I post pictures that are more risqué – I recently posted a picture of me in a thong to exemplify that people with disabilities have booties that we want to show off.
‘It got a lot of attention and most of it was positive and it paid off.’
Feeling inspired by the pictures, Alex decided to create merchandise to raise awareness for disabled body image.
Her merchandise, which features the slogans, ‘love your genes’ and ‘disabled bodies matter’, aims to make people feel confident about their bodies.
‘I’m not a designer by any means, so I had to learn everything myself. It’s mainly me with the help of some friends,’ she added.
‘I sell t-shirts, hoodies and bracelets – all sorts of really cool things.’
Mum Jackie feels immense pride in watching Alex work so hard to make others feel better about themselves.
She said: ‘Alex makes me proud every day – watching her happiness as those orders roll in and watching her face light up when her followers have something beautiful to say to her – all those things are the joy in my life.’
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