“We, in reality, grow up to be perfectly fine. It is people who make us think we aren’t enough.” These are the words of Dessidre Fleming, the writer, and editor at ScoopWhoop Media. Dessidre, the experienced editor with a demonstrated history of working in the print and online media industry, was born with a hearing deformity called microtia. It is a congenital abnormality in which the outer part of a child’s ear is underdeveloped and usually malformed. First, it was other children in school who began to pass remarks about her condition and looks. Later, it was the relatives and others. This drove little Dessidre to take solace in her books and her diary. It was the beginning of a long struggle ahead.
School to college
After school, she went on to study at Mater Dei Convent, New Delhi. Not deterred by her condition, she continued to study and received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Gargi College, University Of Delhi. But at college, she once again felt secluded and discriminated against, because none of her classmates interacted with her.
In fact, as she turned 20, her parents even decided to put her under the scalpel. They thought it was time to fix her and make her right for the marriage market. That was her first awakening. Dessidre had made up her mind that she would never go back to any surgeon and instead go after her dreams. She abandoned the procedure telling her parents she felt beautiful the way she was. She even started to believe that she is enough and learned to love and appreciate herself. Dessidre BELIEVED she is – Perfectly Different not Disabled.
But the self-motivation soon fell short. One night filled with extreme thoughts, the 21-year-old resorted to pills hoping never to wake up in the morning. But she did! That was her second awakening and her realization that there was a bigger purpose to her life. Dessidre Fleming shed every self-doubt and moved on to achieve her dreams.
Dissidre passed out of college in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She majored in World & Indian History with a minor in English and a certificate course in the Russian language. She began her career with Asoka Mission, an NGO, where she interacted with the delegates assisting them at various events and programs. From August 2012, for the next ten months, she was the Editorial Assistant at Wedding Affair, a lifestyle magazine. She began to edit, write, and report everything from beauty, jewelry, and fashion to destination weddings. She even coordinated shoots and was the point of contact for marketing, sponsorship, and public relations. The lone fighter was honing her skills in journalism.
A road to success
In 2014, Dessidre Fleming became a Features Writer in a company named L’Officiel India. She assisted the editor with editorial features and collaborations for the fashion magazine. She even gathered enough strength to conduct cover story interviews. After that, she took up roles as Culture Editor at MensXP and Lifestyle Editor at POPxo. In April 2018, she took over as Editor Trends at ScoopWhoop.
Every life is a learning curve. Dessidre Fleming, with her undying spirit, has shown to the world how a deformity cannot stop one from progressing. Through he motivational talks, one learns: –
- Be yourself, love yourself.
- Appreciate and believe in you.
- Dont think of ‘what people will say’ or ‘Kya kahenge log’.
- Believe in positive thinking and mind power.
- The way you look at the world, the world looks back at you.
It is not just another motivational story but an important lesson to change how we perceive differently-abled persons. As Dessidre says, “even with all your scars, blemishes, disabilities, you are the perfect version of yourself.”