Young woman hits back at claims she “doesn’t look disabled” enough
A young Melbourne woman has hit back at critics who dispute her use of disability parking spots because she “doesn’t look disabled”.
Rhiannon took to TikTok to explain that she has been receiving criticism for using disability parking spaces even though she is “legally disabled”.
“I am legally disabled and as much as old motherf***ers would like to square up with me about it, I’m legally disabled,” she said at the start of the video.
Rhiannon has fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes muscle pain and tenderness throughout the body, often accompanied by fatigue and problems with memory and concentration.
Starting to experience symptoms when she was 20, the model was diagnosed with the condition at 21 after seeing multiple doctors and pain specialists.
In the clip, she can be seen holding up her disability parking permit, which is usually displayed on the left-hand-side of the car’s windscreen, and says, “See this, [this permit] is really hard to get.”
“I park in my disabled parking, and put up [my permit] - tell me why this old f***er comes up to me and thinks that it is their business to go, ‘You don’t look disabled’.
“I’m about to make you legally disabled in a minute, I will tell you that much,” Rhiannon said, before explaining that some people don’t understand that disabilities aren’t always physically visible.
“Do you want me to cut off my f***ing legs so that I look disabled enough for you?” she said.
“What the f***. Like, ‘Oh let me get out of the car and be bent over and limping just so I fit your idea of disabled.’ Shut the f*** up.”
The video soon went viral, receiving 226,000 likes and 1.3 million views in just one day.
Commenters were quick to share their support and similar experiences of their own.
“I have a sticker on the back of my car that says ‘Invisible disabilities are still disabilities’ … it happens CONSTANTLY,” one user commented.
“I get it all the time. I have arthritis and [am] on chemo. I can literally walk into a shop and barely make it back. And still get abused. Lord feel,” another wrote.
In a follow-up video, Rhiannon explained her condition for viewers who didn’t know what fibromyalgia was, joking that if she had known her other video would get so many views, she “definitely would have sworn less”.
Rhiannon explained that she doesn’t use the disability parking spots very often, as she understands “there are people who are not as lucky as [she is] in [her] disability, and need it more” since some days she feels “perfectly fine” and can take a different spot.
On the day she posted the original video, she explained she was going to an appointment to help with her pain and that she was “finding it a harder day than normal and felt the distance walking from another car park was a bit too much for [her]”.
She said she didn’t understand why people had an opinion on where she parks, and that if she could “give up” her condition and be able to park in a different spot, she would.
“To anybody that is going through what I have been now, my heart is with you, I’m sending you all the love in the world,” she said at the end of the video.
“I know it’s really hard, just don’t give up.”
Image: daddyrhi / Instagram, TikTok