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Thread: Ellen Stohl, only female with a SCI to ever pose in Playboy

  1. #11
    It is possibly the "drama" of the moment of being filmed..it is the "Barbara Walters or Oprah moment" when it (the reality) is retold and made more vulnerable to our own pushed down, suppressed feelings..in that moment. It is weird, the public airing of it..makes it seem more palatable. She, like I..quickly repressed and moved on...maybe it is the very telling/acknowledging of the story in this type of interpersonal setting (a documentary) vs a quick get it over with explanation, that makes it real and emotionally charged again.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    One of the things I find interesting, puzzling really, is when Ellen recounts waking up in the hospital and being told by her mother that she's broken her neck. This emotion is still clearly close to the surface and Ellen begins to cry. Yet the thrust (um, pardon me) of this video is to demonstrate how Ellen has reclaimed her sense of self pride and sexual viability -- "[sex as with a disability is] really an opportunity, not an obstacle." Despite all the breakthroughs, however, and the explicit message that she's emerged whole on the other side of the a devastating personal trauma, she's still raw about it many years later.

    Hers is not the only portrayal of this seeming emotional contradiction that I've seen, where the person profiled talks about an awakening to new vistas of the human experience that they would have otherwise been deprived of if not for their disability, but when they speak of the moment of tragedy it is as if it the accident had just happened and they were caught, again, within its first unfolding moments. So, for all the claims of having moved on and embraced the identity of an empowered person with a disability living a full life, the tears seem to be saying, "Not so fast -- it was a tragedy."

    Please don't read any criticism of Ellen in this (though I'm sure someone will anyway). I'm not suggesting that there's anything "wrong" or inauthentic about her tears, I just find it curious. When I recount my injury to someone, while it's not exactly a matter-of-fact retelling I don't get rheumy-eyed over it. I'm not re-experiencing it anew. A lot of years have passed. A lot of miles had passed when Ellen taped this video, too.
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    There may be something more personal about recounting your story staring into a camera as opposed to having a conversation. Just a thought (you heartless bastard)
    Or yeah..what he said!
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  3. #13
    I wish someone would do something like this today. Mr. Hefner should be sent an invite from this forum, from what I see there are some cracking birds in here that could do a centrefold in snap!.

    The world's different these days. You'd think with all our porn and gadgets etc. that we'd be less prudish and judgemental than our previous generations...sadly no, we seem to be going backwards.

    Oh, things have changed for the better with getting around n stuff, w/chairs are heaps better now...but sex, are we now back to being second class citizens?...probably unlikely, but we don't have a playboy centrefold with an sci or other condition to hold up as example like they did in Ellen's day.
    "The problem with self improvement is knowing when to quit." "Diamond" David Lee Roth.

  4. #14
    Stephen212 - For a moment I thought you just got back from a Star Trek Convention and were practicing being Spock !
    I am surprised you read so much into tears for the camera. Movies aren't reality and public emotion in front of the camera may be intentional for dramatic effect. I also was surprised that you use your response to your injury as a measuring stick for , well, anything. People have emotional ambivalence with joy and sorrow simultaneously.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by arndog View Post
    Stephen212 - For a moment I thought you just got back from a Star Trek Convention and were practicing being Spock !
    I am surprised you read so much into tears for the camera. Movies aren't reality and public emotion in front of the camera may be intentional for dramatic effect. I also was surprised that you use your response to your injury as a measuring stick for , well, anything. People have emotional ambivalence with joy and sorrow simultaneously.
    Well she did say she is an actress and a model. Maybe she's a much better actress than I gave her credit for. But I wasn't speaking only about Ellen, but many others as well that I've observed over the years. It's something that I found interesting from a psychoanalytic perspective (a reflex leftover from graduate school) and from my own personal worldview.

    And yes, seeing as I perceive the world through the lens of my experience, that's the measuring stick I use. My measuring stick -- my mind, my consciousness -- is as subjective, idiosyncratic, amorphous and limited as everyone else's, but it's the only one I've got. That's my starting point.

  6. #16
    Stephen212 -I was born into this world in Topeka, Kansas back in the '50's, the heyday of Psychoanalytical Thought at the Menninger Clinic . I was playing with my father's peer, Dr. Karl Menninger's kids before Dr. Karl bought our house before we moved to NY where my papa started his own Psychoanalytic practice. Psychoanalytic thought was revered as gospel more than any religious dogma around my house - it directed, partially, my career choice too- so we may have that in common (something other than cathing and hand cycling ;-) ).

    Ellen's words sound more like 'Cognitive Dissonance' to me than anything. She is altering the reality of the crappy deal of SCI-'no matter how you slice it' to an 'opportunity'. Please...

    I also wonder how individuals believe that a event like SCI enabled them to reach something that they wouldn't have arrived at without the gift of SCI. From my narrow perspective, I am on a single life trajectory that included a life altering SCI and have no clue what I might have experienced or not experienced had I not had this happen - to say otherwise would be pure conjecture. I am sure of one thing - I wouldn't know as much about chronic daily pain nor would I see the urgency to study the dharma without it . But that might not be true either !

  7. #17
    I don't think that SCI provides opportunity that wouldn't have existed sans SCI. However, the reality of a life altering traumatic events generally has a dramatic effect on one's life. Very few people remain the same post injury. How we choose to approach that change is what makes the difference and I think this is what is being communicated here.

    I speak only for myself when I say that I was devistated when I was told about the extent of my injury and the prognosis of never being able to walk again. Rationalizing was the only way it seemed to bring myself to a point of acceptance. I would make the most of my life regardless and use this as an opportunity to grow just as landing a new high paying might have been.

    SCI does not provide any opportunity that didn't exist prior to SCI, true. But it doesn't have to diminish them either.

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