Taylor Crisp: Bullied Teenage Amputee Is Now A Tattoo Model
Suicide Girl Taylor Crisp rose above all the hate and hindrances that were supposed to keep her from living her life—all with one leg.
Schoolchildren can be so cruel. As if school isn't horrible enough for many kids, the people you have to deal with every day in those halls have to make it an even more unbearable experience. To be one with the Anti-Bullying Week campaign in England, we'd like you to meet a woman who knows just how terrible bullying can get and how she rose above it all.
26-year-old Taylor Crisp had to enter high school without her right leg. She was born with femur fibula ulna syndrome, leaving her with a shortened femur, no kneecap or ankle, and a missing toe. The teenage model was born with both legs, though–spending her childhood days riding a skateboard and playing different sports despite a slight limp.
However, her riding days seemed to be over one afternoon when she was 11. A wrong step caused her to trip during a netball match, causing her to dislocate a hip. That's when the doctors had to break it to the active young girl that she might spend a bit more time confined to her bed to recover from her injuries. In a matter of weeks, she began rapidly losing weight and two stones. The doctors soon linked her complications to a possible MRSA infection.
She then spent the next two years at home. “That was the lowest point of my life, for sure,” she says.
In a matter of time she was allowed to go back to a normal school. But that's just what the young lady feared—the memories of name-calling and the childish taunts she received in grade school rushed back to her.
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"It was so hard going back and not really knowing anyone; I didn’t have the security net of friends," says the 26-year-old model. "I was an easy target for bullies, because I had nobody to talk to about it, or to back me up and make me feel better."
Things were bound to get worse when the infection returned and this time, the doctors gave her only two options—either she get rid of her leg or she spend her a lifetime in a wheelchair. “It was a no-brainer for me: I had to have the amputation," says the 19-year-old. “I wanted to be able to play sports again, and there was no way I was going to spend my life in a wheelchair.”
She came back to school and earned a new, cruel nickname: Peg Leg. But the long years of having to deal with bullies toughened her up enough.
“It got me down for a long time. But finally I learnt to stand up for myself and say, ‘No matter what you say, it’s not going to affect me anymore. So you keep saying your nasty things, and we’ll see who comes out on top.’”
Things started changing at 17 when she was approached by a modelling agency while she was out shopping. Projects started popping out for her since then—from modelling wedding dresses to lingerie—not that she's complaining!
“Being in front of the camera has made me feel so confident, no-one can hold me back now!" she grins. "I want to show people that, just because you look a bit different, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve everything you want to.”
Taylor recently appeared in More Magazine, sharing her story—all the struggles and triumphs that came with it. “I'm happy. I feel like I'm me, Taylor Crisp. Not just that girl with one leg,” she tells More.
She was also one of the women chosen for Marie Claire's September 2015 issue which centered on the theme, Redefining Beauty. Taylor appeared in the magazine issue alongside notable female personalities like tattoo model Monami Frost, and trans DJ Munroe Bergdorf. She shares her experience and her modelling for Suicide Girls.
“I still get the name calling, but what hurts more is when people say I should have more dignity, and not really show myself off in “certain ways”. That’s part of the reason I decided to venture into lingerie modelling – to offer another point of view on sexuality…”
Here's Taylor with body modification artist friend, Joshua Rogers who gave her her first scarification work.
Letting go of her leg doesn't mean she has to let go of her passions either! Taylor satiates her thirst for sports by being active in many other physical activities such as pole dancing and performing circus tricks.
The 26-year-old also found love in a childhood friend who stuck with her and continues to encourage her to pursue whatever she sets her mind on to.
The young Taylor Crisp is one of the many examples this Anti-Bullying Week that good things happen to those who choose to rise above.