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Francesca Martinez: "I could've been a Rice Krispie, or Donald Trump."

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When it comes to mutually exclusive, “disability” and “comedy” are two words which you would normally expect to be considered taboo. So why, all things considered, do I find myself laughing at a "wobbly" lady’s failed attempts at cherry knocking?

Welcome to the hilarious and wonderful mind of Francesca Martinez. Born with cerebral palsy, but waging a one-woman mission to have it renamed to ‘wobbly’, Martinez sheds a brilliantly comedic, if not at times brutally honest, look on her experiences growing up in an able-bodied world. From the school girls who lash out, to the textbook doctors who are emotionally inept - no one is safe when it comes to the wit of this comedian.

Disability aside, Martinez has a unique eloquence with words. Without blinking, she sweetly comments: “funny how the girls who used to bully me now want to add me as a friend on Facebook. F**kers!” It makes you wonder why anyone would pick a fight with Martinez. Not because she’s funny or a genuinely lovely person, but because under the smiles is a mildly vengeful personality. 

Chatting to her with a coffee in stylish surroundings, Martinez’s conversations often divert to the issues facing wider society. In her opinion, the root cause of unhappiness is the consumer-based drive to always want better. “We want to look prettier, be thinner, have a better mobile phone, a better house. Our society is so aspirational we never stop and think about what we have. Once you stop and reassess those things you realise that life could be a lot worse,” Martinez poignantly observes, before quickly adding “for example, I could have been a Rice Krispie, or Donald Trump.”

Five minutes later, I am mesmerised by her views on consumerism. “It sounds really obvious, but we’re all trapped in a toxic cycle,” she summarises, “so, when you think about it, breaking yourself away is actually a form of civil disobedience.”

Having taken years to discover this capitalist truth and liberate herself from the evil clutches of self-loathing, Martinez is keen to spread the message of positivity. “I spent years of my life thinking negative thoughts and my only regret is that I’ll never get that time back,” she comments, “I do a lot of talks at schools nowadays where I ask sixteen-year-olds to put their hand up if they’re happy with how they look. No one ever raises their hand and it’s really sad. I tell them ‘you’re in the prime of your lives. Trust me, this is as good as it’s ever going to get!’”

It’s that perfect mix of inspirational speaker, fiery comedienne, and humble woman that makes this lady so fascinating to be with. Sat in a room with other people going about their business, you feel like you’re the only one there. It's no surprise that she's often asked if she'd consider a career in politics.

Spending an hour in the company of Francesca Martinez is a delightful, if not insightful, experience. It is a testament to her abilities that in her presence you can see beyond the disability to the woman who lies beneath. Perhaps put more succinctly by the wobbly expert herself, “if I was retarded I’d have voted for UKIP.”

To find out more, visit Francesca's website, here




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