Lockport resident writes book ‘The Pretty One’ to expand the idea of what disability is and what it can be

Keah Brown has a wide range of talents. She’s a brilliant writer for many national publications like Teen Vogue, Essence, Catapult, and Lenny Letter. She loves fashion, beauty and pop culture, and she happens to have cerebral palsy; a disability that she’s happy to advocate about for others, but doesn’t define her. She recently wrote a book called “The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall In Love With Me.”

“My disability is the lens through which I see the world but it is not always the subject. I experience life differently than someone who might be reading my book but not everything I write is about my disability. I wanted to be able to show that I was a fully realized human being with a lot of interests.”

Brown, 28, graduated from Fredonia State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in creative writing. In 2015, she saw a call for essays on the subject of jealousy, so she decided to pitch the idea of writing about her twin sister.

“I grew up super jealous of my sister because she is able bodied and I had to accept that,” she said.

Brown’s essay on jealousy was the first essay published in her career. Soon word of mouth grew that Brown was extremely talented and other national publications began hiring her for more work. While writing, she quickly grew a large following on social media from those who enjoyed seeing her inspirational – and sometimes humorous – posts about her journey through life. She even came up with the hashtag #DisabledAndCute that went viral last year.

”Part of me feels like in case anything ever happens to me, I want to make sure that I’ve said everything I wanted to and did all of the things I wanted to. I’m at the point that if it all goes away, it doesn’t mean that I’m not happy with what I gave the world,” said Brown.

“The Pretty One” is a collection of essays that explore Brown’s relationship with her twin sister, (called “the pretty one” by friends) navigating romance, her love for all things pop culture, – and her disappointment with the world’s view of disability. “The Pretty One” aims to expand the conversation about disability and inspire self-love for all backgrounds. To pre-order yours, click here and to learn more about Keah Brown, visit keahbrown.com. 

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