Karen Miles shares how the May ‘Diversity & Wellbeing’ issue of CHILD Mags could change your perspective on how we see and value diversity.
Rather than our usual studio cover shoot, for the May issue I planned a visit to the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick to meet a super special and seriously cool kid – Olivia. Isn’t she beautiful?
Y’all know I’m a huge fan of the hit TV show Nashville. Last year, I was shocked when my favourite character in the show (played by Australian actress/singer Clare Bowen) cut off her angelic, long golden curls to what some would call ‘boy short’. Why such a big change?
A quick visit to her Facebook answered all. At just four years old, Clare was diagnosed with end stage nephroblastoma (the most common type of kidney cancer in children) and through treatment, lost her hair. Luckily, she survived her cancer diagnosis. After she cut her hair, Clare explained: “I was really inspired when I heard a story about a little girl who said she couldn’t be a princess because she didn’t have long hair, and I wanted her, and others like her, to know that’s not what makes a princess, or a warrior, or a superhero. It’s not what makes you beautiful either.” Clare’s new headshot with her short hair, which carries the slogan ‘It’s just hair’, stayed with me and was my inspiration for our May cover line, ‘Still Me’. As you read Olivia’s story, you’ll discover why this cover line so perfectly describes this amazing six year old.
After the shoot, I showed my daughter Scarlett the cover shots of Olivia and we had a chat about ‘difference’ and what’s considered beautiful and ‘normal’. Those conversations move mountains, don’t they?
Also in this issue, what happens when bullies grow up and what can you do when you realise your child is the school bully? Plus, we ask whether autism really needs a cure as we uncover the extraordinary, innovative gifts of people with autism.
Cover Photography: Sue Stubbs