61 million adults in the United States live with a disability, which amounts to one in every four people. However, the disability community is often looked down upon, partially because people are not educated about different physical and mental disabilities and what it’s like to live with them. Rexi James is a disabled Instagram model who is defying stereotypes and bringing visibility to the fact that disabled people can be sexy.
Rexi James has arthrogryposis amyoplasia, which affects her joints, tendons, and muscles. “Completing simple tasks like brushing my hair is 10 times harder than it is for the average person,” said James. “I’ve had to work hard to become independent and live an easier life while remaining disabled.” One of the most commonly-held disability stereotypes is that disabled people aren’t sexy. People will ask whether someone in a wheelchair or with chronic pain can have sex, and there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the issue. It took a while for Rexi herself to feel comfortable with her body. “Growing up, I never saw disabled people portrayed as sexually attractive in the media. This affected my confidence.” However, she now posts risque pictures on her Instagram and OnlyFans accounts, and gets a lot of attention from fans. She’s in the top 0.3% of creators on OnlyFans, and makes enough money to survive while she completes her communications degree.
“The best part of my job is showing other disabled people that it’s possible to defy stereotypes and do something that able-bodied people wouldn’t expect. While my disability makes things harder, I refuse to let it hold me back too much.” Unfortunately, Rexi does sometimes get negative comments, but she’s learned to shake them off and remain positive. “I push forward and ignore the haters. Engaging with them is a waste of my time, and I get so many positive messages that they’re basically drowned out.”
In the past few years, disabled people have gotten more visibility and respect. Creators like Rexi James are helping this trend continue, simply by being themselves and showing the world that disability can take many forms, and it doesn’t have to keep you from achieving your dreams.