21 October 2020
Hiiii, My name is Emily Nicole Roberts and I‘m 22 years old and live in Swansea.
It’s really hard for me to imagine myself as a creative! In my view I just make YouTube videos in my spare time because I love doing it! I come up with video ideas and edit all my own videos alone so I suppose that’s quite creative! I want to make the arts and the Internet itself as inclusive as possible. I think it’s really important that I have a voice, both being a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy and also being a young Welsh woman! I’m proud of my disability and I’m proud of my identity!
When I was young I didn’t really appreciate what being Welsh meant. Growing up I’ve kind of realised the community spirit of Wales and how important the country is in showcasing talent, solidarity and also just a large sense of love! Being a “blogger” is enormously important to me as it is, but being able to work for companies like S4C and learning the Welsh language also connects me to Wales too. In everything I do I want to show people if I can do it so can you!! I want to inspire people to see their inherent worth but also to understand that disability is not a stigma.
I started blogging when I was 20, I didn’t used to have a lot of self-confidence, however, one day I felt at a loose end. I felt that there was nobody embracing their disability online unless it was for comedic purposes, and especially nobody I felt that I could relate to being a 22-year-old young woman. I thought back to my younger self who used to go on YouTube on the Internet to try and understand her disability and try and understand how she was going to live her life, being young and having paralympians or Stephen Hawking to relate to really didn’t help someone normal! I set out to make videos that are both informative encouraging and real.
I want people to relate to me so they can relate to cerebral palsy too, realising that my disability is not some big alien concept. I think relation makes people susceptible to understanding and I’m all for positivity and equality!
I call it the 3 E’s:
I wish to Educate those about self-love and also the concept of disability in a normal world.
I wish to Encourage people to be inquisitive rather than ignorant about lifelong conditions, wheelchair users or cerebral palsy.
I wish to Empower people to understand that there is only one version of themselves on this planet which makes them so amazing, Regardless of anything else! I want to remove the diss from disability because when you do, only ability is left.
I’ve been a content creator for BBC Sesh for around a year now! I love to write scripts and obviously edit and film my own material. I try to remain lighthearted and jovial about my disability so that people are open to understanding it and relating to it too!! I am very thankful for the BBC for giving me every opportunity to reach the widest audience possible.
Being shortlisted as a ‘Positive Role Model For Disability’ really is a dream! I still don’t think it’s real, to be recognised as somebody who is changing people’s lives has really changed my own! I say that “I want to change lives by filming mine” – To even think for a second that I have had a positive impact on one person’s life is all I need for mine to be complete. I have been shortlisted with seven other amazing individuals who truly are superhuman! Even just being in that league is a huge compliment in itself, when I was initially nominated with 64,000 others I never expected to get down to the final eight and I still don’t think it’s real!!
What empowers me the most about being a creative Welsh woman is having a platform with complete freedom and creative license. I decide how I am portrayed and what content I put out into the big wide world. I make videos for the younger me to understand that her disability is not life limiting, instead, it’s life changing. Being Welsh and being a woman is powerful in itself because we are all individuals that will never be replicated.
As disability is still seen as a minority group in society, I think my challenge is relating and appealing to the majority. Unfortunately, discrimination still exists and my content is niche, however, I believe that it’s the quality of your audience and my impact on them as opposed to the quantity of views or likes I compile.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear on BolSHE. I hope to forever help and inspire people, however is most effective while meeting amazing, like-minded individuals like you guys. We empower each other.