A former Coronation Street actress who had intimate photos leaked online says she is determined to turn the experience into a positive one.Melissa Johns – who’s disabled – says some good may come from the hack because it shows women with all types of body have sex lives.Posting online, she called the invasion of privacy “unacceptable”.But speaking to Newsbeat, she says it can be a good thing “if this goes some way to dismantling discrimination”. Melissa – who joined Coronation Street for a month last year – was born without a right hand and forearm.The 27-year-old actress says she was initially “incredibly shocked” when she found out her phone had been hacked.A week after finding out about the photos, she posted her response on Instagram.”The papers are saying that I’m ‘devastated’. That this is ‘hell’. That’s not my take on it at all.”
A week ago I found out that I have had private photos leaked online by a hacker. Private, intimate and jokey photos between myself and my partner. The papers are saying that I'm "devastated". That this is "hell". That's not my take on it at all. I dedicate almost everything I do to fighting for female empowerment and the empowerment of people with disabilities. I'm not about to go back on my principles now. With that said, I wanted to share my statement. "I’ve always felt that I have been given this body for a reason. Because someone, somewhere, knew that I had the strength to deal with it. Ever since school, when I have been bullied or inappropriate comments have been made about my arm, I have learned to deal with things in a calm and positive way. This was an intimate exchange that took place privately between myself and my boyfriend and it is completely unacceptable when people have their privacy disrespected in this way. However, as a vocal champion of women being totally at one with their bodies and not being ashamed of them, I am not about to turn around now and go back on my own principals. I am proud of my body. It is beautiful. And I am entitled to enjoy it and to have a personal and a romantic life just as all women – of all different body shapes and sizes, are entitled to do. Women get these types of photos leaked all the time, but what is more unusual is to see a woman with a disability depicted in this way. If any good has come out of this, it is to show that women with all different types of body shapes and sizes send photos, have sex lives, engage in intimate exchanges in the same way as everybody else. My body is unique, beautiful, and representative of what is still a very under-represented demographic of people in our society today. So if this goes some way to dismantling discrimination, and showing that disabled bodies can be beautiful and even sexual, then that is a positive thing. It will take a lot more than a few leaked photos to to stop me fighting for equality and the mainstream representation of women of all different shapes and sizes." Melissa Johns
Speaking to Newsbeat, Melissa says: “I don’t want to waste my energy trying to access the person who’s done this or work out ways of getting it [the post] down.”There’s nothing we can do about the people doing this but maybe what I can do is spread the word of female empowerment.”She says that nearly everything she does in life is about “fighting for female empowerment and the empowerment of people with disabilities.”And she admits “that loving your body doesn’t happen overnight”.”We are all completely different and rather than be ashamed of the things that make us different, we should magnify it and glorify it,” she says.”We should make it the best thing we own.”It’s not something that we should shy away from, it’s something that should be celebrated.”Earlier this month, Melissa posted pictures of her modelling, highlighting her disability as a positive.
Sparkle 2018… Sparkle. @modelsofdiversity ?? Photo: @damian_mcgillicuddy Hair/makeup: @lillyvonpink Jewellery: Heiter Couture Jewelry . . . #photo #photoshoot #actor #model #modeling #2018 #sparkle #disability #disabled #casting #instaphoto #instadaily #positive #blonde #body #bodyimage #dress #jewlery #style #fashion #instafashion #work #career #hair
She says she wants women to “appreciate their bodies and know that we’re allowed to appreciate them and celebrate them”.”Rather than try to tear down the people doing this, let’s build up the women that are having this done to them, and let them know they haven’t done anything wrong for appreciating their own body.”
Source: Worcester News