“I Don’t Exactly Know What I Will Do Precisely But I Will Do My Best”: Selma Blair and MS In October 2018
Actress Selma Blair revealed to the world on her Instagram that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s nerves. The post is heartfelt, with Blair ending her caption stating “I don’t exactly know what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”
Since then, Blair’s candid admissions, and openness to a public view into her illness via her social media platform, has helped to destigmatize illness, showing women that a chronic illness does not make them less of a woman, less sexy or beautiful, less of a mother, or less of a person.
For nearly a year now, Selma Blair has chronicled her experience living with this chronic illness on her Instagram. Blair has shown some of the effects of living with MS such as requiring a cane, hair loss, increased facial hair, and the pressure to be a parent to a young child while still attending to her own health and needs.
However, through all of this, Blair has shown that these effects do not make her less feminine, or less of a woman. In September 2019, Blair posted a photo of herself wearing only a Thom Browne jacket. In the photo, she is bottomless and bald. Here, she flaunts her body and her illness simultaneously, showing that physical beauty and MS are not mutually exclusive. Her femininity and sexuality are not dependent upon, nor negated by her condition, an empowering and liberating message, particularly on a platform inundated with heavily edited snapshots of the “perfect” moment and flat tummy tea ads.
Through her use of the platform, Selma Blair makes visible an image not often seen in mainstream media. She shows someone multi-dimensional, someone brave, someone proud of their body, and someone authentic, all while helping to normalize and raise awareness for those, like her, who may be dealing with an illness.