Posted on Friday June 5, 2020
Meet Michaela Davert
It’s been easy lately to hit a point where you feel down and struggle to find more positives than negatives. While it seems like our worlds may never start going again, 21-year-old Michaela Davert – and her family – remind us that life’s just a little better when you keep a positive mindset.
Standing at only 2 feet, 7 inches tall, Michaela was born with a physical disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Type III). Caused by the gene that’s responsible for the production of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, a defect in this gene causes many underlying health conditions. Along with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Michaela also has several respiratory and heart conditions. A combination that has resulted in more than 100 fractures throughout her lifetime and almost 25 surgeries. Most of them to insert or replace rods to keep the long bones of her arms and legs straighter and longer. Both her mother and twin brother, Austin, suffer from OI (Type III) as well. However it presents itself a bit differently in each of them. Her father also has a mild form of cerebral palsy.
Challenges for the Disabled Community
Having spent the majority of her life in an Amigo, motorized wheelchair, or traditional wheelchair, she talked with us about challenges she has faced. Instead of being negative, she started with the positives. It has allowed her to be independent and she can’t imagine the lonely, isolated life she would have without it. The biggest physical challenge she faces is a lack of accessibility within her community and the places she travels. Many businesses still fail to view those who utilize a wheelchair as valuable to the community. Despite laws and regulations being in place, she says it is a challenge people with disabilities face on a near-daily basis. However, that hasn’t stopped her from doing many big things!
Changing the Views of the Disabled Community
Four years ago, Michaela started posting consistently on her YouTube channel, FunSizedStyle. Its success is one of her biggest and proudest accomplishments. She had started watching fashion and beauty videos and realized the positive impact those creators were making on their channels. It also made her see that there was a gap. There were very few, if any, beauty vloggers on YouTube with physical disabilities. She was already passionate about these topics and decided to work towards being the new face of the beauty industry by sharing her story and passion. The community she has built, places she has gone, and messages she receives daily are priceless.
When she isn’t creating great video content and bringing awareness to people with disabilities, she’s studying hard at Davenport University. Working towards her bachelor of business administration in marketing, with a concentration in digital. She’s also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and Sigma Beta Delta. Michaela tells us in her free time she loves traveling and exploring new places. New York City, and Washington D.C., are just a few of her favorites. We aren’t sure how she does it all!
What’s next for Michaela Davert
If you’ve heard Michaela’s story before, you may have heard of her plan to move to L.A. for fashion. (Similar to our last Friendly Wheels, planning to focus on fashion for those with disabilities!) But she has determined that L.A. isn’t the right fit for her any longer. However, we suspect we’ll still see more great things from her! Her goals have shifted to creating content that will help viewers come to a new perspective of people with disabilities. Her channels are not always rainbows and butterflies. She openly shares her health challenges, personal frustrations, and the realness of what is happening in her life. Most social media influencers do not experience the challenges she does on a daily basis. They work to make their lives seem “perfect”. But following Michaela, you’ll be reminded that we all have a story and something we deal with every day.
She has planned topics to put forth on her social platforms and some big goals. If you’re interested in following the journey, we encourage you to connect with her on Instagram and YouTube. Right now she is documenting her journey while staying home and exercising daily in her traditional wheelchair to strengthen her arms and build muscle!
Coping with COVID-19
Due to health circumstances in the past, not being able to leave home due to COVID is not something new. Though this may be a personal record for the longest extended period she has been home at once. But she realizes this is a challenging time for many of us, and these thoughts can easily become consumed. She tells us it’s important to remember that, even though this time has seemed to go on for so long, this crazy time in our world will come to an end and our lives will return back to normal. Being part of her social community has helped her remember that while all of our experiences are different right now, we are all experiencing it and being affected by COVID together. Allowing the sad and “off” days to run their course is important – this is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.
She reminds us that, like all the other negatives in our lives, COVID too is only temporary. To not forget your self-worth, because there is some FunSizedStyle positivity in each and every one of us. Even on our worst days.