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Easy Beauty


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A groundbreaking memoir about disability from a Pulitzer-nominated writer and philosopher

I was in a bar in Brooklyn listening to two men discuss whether or not my life was worth living. Roy was arguing that being born with a disability was a tragedy. I told him I was grateful for the experiences my body had led me through.

"You," he said with total certainty, "are just rationalizing the shitty hand you've been dealt."

That sentence passed through me like a blade. He was right, but not for the reasons he thought he was right. My lifelong choice to shelter myself from the Roys of the world, made his beliefs, ultimately, true.

Name the spaces where you feel you don't belong. In stadiums, in cities, on screen, on stage, on canvas, on dating apps, in fashion, in dance, in sport, in arenas, in front, in focus, in public.Then I asked myself, What would happen if you just entered those spaces without preconceptions, pre-emptive dismissals, embarrassment, or apologies?

That question sent me a three-year experiment, a journey that took me around the world. It is answered in these pages.

Easy Beauty is a luminous memoir about fate and ability, but it is also a close philosophical examination of what happens when we look and are looked at. By confronting her own experiences of sex, motherhood, beauty, sport and prejudice, Chloe challenges our complicity with otherness and invites us to find a new way of seeing.

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