Body Confidence Expert Sandie Roberts –Women Talking talks to disability advocate, speaker, and model campaigner Sandie Roberts.
Since first being diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder in 2019, Sandie Roberts has used her platform to support, empower and raise awareness for body positivity and those living with disabilities.
Sandie won the 2021 #TeamPourMoi Ambassador Scheme, after capturing the hearts of Pour Moi with her fun, creative and empowering content. Pour Moi believes that all women deserve to be celebrated. The Uplifting Women Awards recognises the amazing achievements of women as well as celebrates their fabulousness.
Sandie’s drive and tenacity to spread awareness have been inspirational, as she uses her platform to help others with disabilities, self-acceptance, and body positivity.
Sandie Roberts is part of the all-female judging panel for the Pour Moi Uplifting Women Awards. Nominations are open until
“When I was young, I always wanted a creative career and set my early sights on being a professional photographer, I worked as a wedding photographer when I was in college. I never thought that I would be modelling for companies such as Pour Moi at the age of 52”.
How old were you when you injured your back? Did this lead to health problems later in life?
“I was 15 years old when I hurt my back and spent a year in and out of hospital unable to walk. I had to have a tutor as I couldn’t attend school and I was so lonely as I never saw anyone except my mum and one of my friends. We didn’t know it at the time but it was linked to a genetic condition that I have called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that affects all of my organs, joints and soft tissue”.
How did this change your life at the time?
“Until I hurt my back, I was a straight A student, studying for 9 GCSEs with an active social life. Afterwards, I barely saw anyone and left school with just two qualifications. After a lot of hard work, I went to college and studied hard to try and catch up but I was left feeling as though my life was on the wrong track”.
“After my children were born, I felt it was time for me to think about what I wanted. That I could dare to dream of a career for myself. it was hard as my youngest of three children was only 4 years old when I started but I was determined, and I felt like I was slowly coming alive as I learnt more and more on my art course, and I left with a first-class honours degree after submitting a double dissertation”.
What resources are available to raise awareness for body positivity and those living with disabilities?
“There are many charities, specific to each disability, that can help support those living with a disability. I would advise anyone diagnosed with a condition to google for charities and organisations that have been set up to support them as they will have a lot of resources. For example, the Spinal Injuries Association is there to help those affected by spinal cord injury and has a huge amount of information and support available. While FND Hope UK offers both online and real-life support for those affected by the condition of Functional Neurological Disorders.
“With regards to body confidence, there is nothing formal, it is an area sadly lacking. The Pour Moi Uplifting Woman Awards, however, is an incredible opportunity to help people see that there is no limit on how they should love themselves or each other. It is one way we can raise awareness of the disabled community whilst at the same time building each other up and celebrating our beautiful bodies in all the wonderful shapes and sizes that they come in, regardless of ability. Social Media accounts such as my own where we support and encourage each other to live lives boldly and without fear help disabled and chronically ill folk to climb out of the box society often tries to confine them in, we try and help them see that there are no boundaries except those we set ourselves”.