The blogger and amputee model, who lost her leg in a car accident, spoke about the rules of life in the North Caucasus, plans for the future and how people with disabilities are treated in Russia.
Semmy Djabrail was born in the North Caucasus, but later moved to St. Petersburg, where she became a model and started a successful blog on Instagram. She was going to move to the United States and continue to develop her career there. In September 2017, a couple of weeks before leaving, Semmy was in a car accident: she lost her leg and survived five clinical deaths. Now Semmy is wearing a prosthesis and is working as a model again. In addition, she earns from advertising: on her Instagram almost 200,000 followers.
About childhood in Dagestan
When you are a little girl in Dagestan and you stand out very much, no one loves you. I did not understand how boys can allow themselves to talk to girls like that rudely, somehow went, dirty. You look and understand: “You are a child, why do you talk like that?” And how they should talk if they are given religious education on the one hand, but they are not taught some social skills. But this needs to be taught, and then you understand what policy to choose. And I was the girl who didn’t want to choose. “Can I have something of my own, please?” I achieved this for all my 30 years and achieved only after a car accident.
From a young age, you need to constantly prove that you are stronger. Because otherwise you’ll be a weak link. And weakness is not forgiven in such places.
About stereotypes about people with disabilities
I was very worried about my sexuality when it happened. I was worried: will I like, will there be any interest in me. And it so happened that I did not have to do anything for this, people themselves showed that there was interest. And when I realized that I still liked me, and I exhaled.
People don’t know what disability is. They don’t know that you can live normally with it, like a normal person. I am intimidated by our society, our culture, by the fact that “someone like you will not survive here, you will sit at home, and you will not have any friends.” Not a bit. Everything depends on you. As my mother said, as you put yourself, it will be. You need to be able to set yourself so as not to be afraid of society.
Most people cannot respond correctly (to a person with a disability), because for them people with a disability are those who move in the metro in a wheelchair. About six months after the car accident, I was sitting on the street in a wheelchair, waiting for a taxi, it was snowing, a friend was coming down for me – and my grandmother was just coming up, holding me alms, and there was a trifle, rubles. 5-7 The fact that we are lagging behind is felt by how people react to me.
About life goals
Social ties are what I aspire to. This is influence, power, but I seek approving power. I don’t want to command anyone, I just want to be able to do big things and do it with ease.
I am not in politics not because I am not interested in it, but I understand that if I go into politics, I will have to neglect something and compromise some of my principles. And I’m too principled – I won’t do it. Either I think, or I’ll stand aside.
I’ll leave anyway. If you don’t like it, I’ll be back. It’s my childhood dream. I want to have a baby there, I want to take my mother there, I want them to see everything. My sister never went abroad in her life.
I am very striving for security, but I am also very striving for freedom. And if you choose between security and freedom, then obviously – freedom.