I first heard of Keah Brown and her book The Pretty One while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Coming Out with Lauren and Nicole(also known as Coming Out Pod). Her chat with them was just so much fun and I knew I wanted to know about her and spend more time with her voice. Living in the middle of nowhere it takes a bit for some deliveries to make it to me, but when The Pretty One arrived at my door I wanted to start reading it immediately. I brought the book up to my current work from home desk and started reading any time there was even the slightest slow down in my day.
I was drawn in by her humorous tone that highlighted various elements of her life which includes her disability and being a Black woman in America. I had tried to find this book before the rise of Black Life Marches and as I read I felt as though I was gaining a better understanding of what it is like for someone growing up in the United States who immediately finds themselves being underrepresented and experiencing the racial bias of our society. As a white woman who was raised in the suburbs this is something I personally have never and will never experience. Brown is so open and shares what it was like for her to know certain truths about the world and being aware of how being Black gave a her a different understanding of the world around her. She also discusses how she is treated in society as someone with a disability that others can see, she also does discuss her invisible disabilities, but having a physical disability is something that she personally had to become comfortable with. Brown has a twin sister who does not have a disability and part of their story within the book is how they are working at creating a new type of relationship now that Brown is at a point in her life where she is more accepting of herself.
She has been a writer for some time and wrote for Cliche magazine, a digital fashion and entertainment magazine, and this work as a writer is very evident in her ability to craft her story through the essays within The Pretty One. Brown is so open about her experiences and her own growth, that she gives her readers the opportunity to connect and gain a better understanding of the world at large through her perspective. She highlights the lack of representation in media of people who look like her and how the beauty industry is also lacking in how they are seen. Her hashtag, #DisabledAndCute was discussed within the beauty community and highlighted the lack of true representation that exists. If you want to gain a better understanding of what America is like for those who identify as disabled, this is Brown’s chosen term and she does note that not all people are comfortable with this word, and for those who are Black, and also the intersectionality of those identities and how lacking what we see in the media is than this is a book you need to pick up. Honestly if you just want a read that feels like you are hanging out with a smart, funny, and pop culture loving person that you will want to call your friend. You can get your copy of The Pretty One today.