The Portrait of Dreams

Paula Carozzo

We have the responsibility to make ourselves heard, to each chart our own path, in our own sector of expertise, according to our idea of ​​the right narrative.

1. Bio

Model, content creator and activist committed to the topic of disability, she fights against prejudice and promotes an innovative representation of the subject on her social media channels. Born in Venezuela, at the age of five following a surgical procedure, she was left with cerebral palsy, which causes difficulties in moving and maintaining both balance and posture. Seeking better care and living conditions for Paula, the family moved to Miami. Here, she grew up living with her condition, yet – it was whilst attending college – that she began to focus on the need to denounce the barriers and stereotypes linked to disabilities. She then launched her own platform, from which she challenges outdated perceptions and presents a new narrative of disability. Today, she is an ambassador for numerous brands, as well as a speaker for public institutions and universities.

2. The power of a dream

Dreams have no age, colour, gender or expiration. Dreams simply have passion, discipline and pieces that fall into place. They pursue you, constantly sending you subtle signs, you just need to have the courage to recognise them. There is a moment for everyone when we feel that a rule really isn’t serving us. The dream is essentially the trigger that pushes us to break it, to break it down and create our own path. This is it’s real power. As a child, I dreamed of being a model, I attended several castings over the years: “Oh, you’re disabled…”, door shut. But what kind of rule was that? I never accepted it and I developed a different narrative of disability. Today, I’m an ambassador for many brands, I’m living my childhood dream, but – above all – I can help promote an innovative and emancipatory perspective on people with physical disabilities.

3. My journey into real beauty

My disability has taught me that you are the way you are, you look the way you look, you move the way you move and no-one will come and save you from that. Because, in fact, there is no need to be saved! There is, however, a need for a fairer narrative and fewer preconceptions. Life is funny, you have to tune in to its irony and find the space to re-claim your most intimate priorities. I grew up in the era of botox, over-inflated lips, surgically-enhanced butts and layer upon layer of make-up: in one word, the ‘fake’ era. The greatest beauty is seeing more and more people starting to re-define the concept of beauty beginning with authenticity, the expression of the self and its aspirations. I am the one re-defining my disability, my disability does not define me: this is powerful and truly beautiful.

4. What I learned and won’t let go

In the face of injustice and discrimination, we must begin to create our own paths to achieve what is right for us. We must join forces in the fields we know best, remove ourselves from every game that has rules that do not belong to us and create our own championship. This is also the hope I have for every woman, whatever the situation she finds herself in: we have – within us – the power and strength to create solutions that do not yet exist; we are receptive by nature, we can be anything we want and no-one has the right to tell us otherwise.

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