When Ruby Van Leuven sunk into a bath for the first time in her adult life, she wanted to share her triumph with the world.
The makeup artist from Adelaide, Australia, was born with arthrogryposis — a disability that disturbs joint development and limits limb mobility. Despite her condition, Van Leuven leads a full and meaningful life. Simple pleasures, like taking a bath, however, are far and few between.
Having a bath was “always without a doubt my favourite thing when I was little,” she said in an Instagram post. “The warmth, the bubbles, the weightlessness of the water. It was a safe space and a space which provided relief from chronic pain.”
But by the time she was 10, her soapy sanctuary was no longer practical. “By this time I had become too heavy for mum and dad to carry safely, so bath time stopped,” she said.
Close to 15 years later, Van Leaven made the return to her happy place. She shared the moment with more thanr 24,000 Instagram followers earlier this week.
“I have been loaned a lifter with a sling, which allows me to be hoisted in and out of the bath with ease. Bath time is back!” she captioned the images.
“Last night I shared a three hour bubble bath with one of my beautiful best friends @emillie.jayne and it was glorious and warm and bubbly and sparkly and magical. Rest assured bath times will now be a regular thing.”
Van Leaven has never allowed her disability to dictate destiny. The 23-year-old made headlines earlier this month while pushing for disabled visibility in the beauty industry. The art student and activist has long be vocal in the fight for equality and dedicates her life to inspiring others.
The trail-blazer closed her post by declaring “2018, the year of accessibility.”