She tried out for the show, she explained, partly to test her own limits. “It was a point in my life where I was thinking either Asperger’s was going to define me or I was going to be able to work around it,” she said. – New York Times article
Back in my sighted days, I was a big fan of ‘America’s Next Top Model’. Seriously? Yeah, seriously haha! I realy enjoyed the photography, the fashions, and I love Tyra Banks. She really helped me find an inner confidence, my inner diva. I used to watch her talk show too.
Back in 2007, there was a contestant with Asperger’s. “Heather Kuzmich has the neurological disorder known as Asperger’s syndrome. She is socially awkward, has trouble making eye contact and is sometimes the target of her roommates’ jokes.” reports ” Tara Parker-Pope in the above linked article.
Heather was my favorite contestant. I loved her looks, her personality and her courage to go on this show. I don’t know if I related to her because we both had a disability or what. I voted for her every week and I would pull up her photos on the website and just gaze at her. She had such an amazing look about her. I would get angry at the other girls when they made fun of her. In the articlle, Heather says they didn’t make fun of her as much as the show portrayed, and there were actually some really good moments with her roommates.
Heather was definitely the reason I became aware of Asperger’s and Autism way back then and I think it’s great that she got up there and did what she did. Not only was it great for her confidence and self esteem, it gave a face to Asperger’s.
The above linked article has some really good information. I urge you to read it. The whole point of my doing these posts is to help spread awareness for Autism, since April is Autism awareness month. I hope people are reading. I haven’t gotten many comments aside from what Katrin writes, which by the way, her comments only add to the information, so be sure to check them out.
I’ll be working this weekend on getting caught up with these posts, as I’m determined to have a post for each day of the month, even if they aren’t posted on the exact day.
Here are some videos of Heather doing various interviews. Somehow this page seems to be cycling through several videos. Blinks, when it goes quiet, it’ll start back up again.
In one of the videos, Heather talks about needing confidence and elegance, and she laughs about not being very elegant. I remember that from when I watched the show, but I just thought it added to her appeal. Also, in one of the videos, she talks about getting lost in one of the challenges and I couldn’t help thinking that she needed a dog like Katrin’s James hehe!
Anyway, I just really love Heather and I don’t know why I didn’t think to look her up sooner.