Whose body is it anyway? Disguising a disabled self | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2051-7106
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7114


This article traces a year in which I moved from Cape Town, South Africa to the University of Oxford, England for my master’s in African studies. It presents a series of vignettes to explore the interplay of disability, dress and disguise during that time as trauma, alienation and my history of mental illness triggered a health crisis. The physical realities of living in my new body fundamentally changed not only how I dressed it, but my relationship with dress itself. Dressing became an obstacle to being able to be in the external world, a performance of invisibility to dissolve the selves that rendered me so abnormal, both politically and medically, and a touchstone of a prior and better existence.


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  • Article Type: Other
Keyword(s): body; disability; dress; health; illness; mental illness; physicality
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