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Root had polio as a 2-year-old in the late 1930s; now, post-polio syndrome — which many childhood survivors of the disease develop — degrades her muscles, forcing her to use a cane and a wheelchair. This extends to nearly every situation — movie theaters, flights, grocery stores, you name it.
Root taught Bruni how it felt to be seen as invisible because of her age and perceived ability. Novelist and screenwriter Ayelet Waldman discussed with us the invisibility of turning 50 as a woman.
Sometimes my skirts barely cover the thigh straps on the tops of my braces.
I’ve become used to wearing pantyhose too which I never used to do.
I have been a paraplegic since I was a little girl. My legs are very thin and flaccid, but I still think of myself as attractive, even sexy.
I’ve have long flowing hair over a pretty face and large breasts over a tiny waist.