When UNYQ asked actress/model Katherine Crawford what she was looking for in a prosthetic leg cover, her answer was simple: Something elegant, sleek, and edgy. What Crawford and UNYQ came up with certainly fits comfortably into those categories. The bold, metallic L’ACETTE design looks like a cross between the most erotic fishnet stockings of all time and an attaché case that’d feel at home in a James Bond movie.
“It’s like a piece of armor from Asgard,” Crawford says. “I absolutely love it.”
Most impressive to Crawford is how few people see it for what it truly is when she’s walking down the block.
“People think it’s a unique fashion accessory,” she says, “like a piece of jewelry you wear on your leg.”
The design also draws inspiration from her latest acting role in the independently-produced film “Wonder Buffalo,” currently trying to obtain funding through Kickstarter. The film is a coming of age tale of a Thai American teen trying to find acceptance and empowerment through the world of cosplay. (The struggle is something that Crawford can relate to herself, being a native from South Africa now living in America.) And the lead character’s idol from where she draws her inspiration? Crawford in the role of the superhero Woman Chick.
“[The lead character] is constantly struggling with body issues,” explains Crawford, “and then she meets Wonder Chick and realizes that even though she has this prosthetic, she can do anything. And so can [the lead].”
The character of Wonder Chick mimics Crawford’s own work behind the cameras. When not posing or rehearsing lines, she has spent her time trying to start a non-profit organization for disabled children that focuses on the performing arts. Meanwhile, Crawford has also been a vocal critic of how amputees are currently portrayed in TV and movies.
“Disabled people are generally used for horror movies, and we’re trying to pull away from that,” she explains. “We’re not just zombies. We’re not just victims. We’re not just soldiers in a field getting blown up. We are actual people.”
For those keeping a scorecard at home: F/X’s Sons of Anarchy gets a big thumbs up from Crawford for their realistic portrayals of amputees, but Dangerous Minds and Devious Maids get giant thumbs down for their exploitation by filming able-bodied actresses from the waist up, and using amputees as body doubles from the waist down.
“Where it gets frustrating is that playing a disabled person is a gateway to an Academy Award,” she says.
It’s a battle that Crawford has been waging since she became an amputee herself.
In 2008, she joined the military and horribly hurt her leg during training. After an attempt at rehab and spotty medical attention, the military was prepping to deploy her to Afghanistan when the leg got hurt again. She was sent home, medically discharged, but the pain lingered. Crawford tried every possible kind of treatment to stop the pain, but nothing helped. It grew worse and worse. She couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even bath. So, in 2012, she elected to get an amputation. And since, her life has taken a turn for the better.
“The pain went away,” she says, “and I’ve felt healthier ever since.”
And now she’s found her calling as an actress, model, and activist for amputee rights. And, you know, it wouldn’t surprise us if she also finds time in her busy schedule to solve a few crimes and defend the world from arch-criminals’ evil plans for world domination.