Get-hooked March 5, 2021
“Find ways to help yourself” – Blind MasterChef winner Christine Ha’s powerful message for women with disabilities
American chef, writer and TV host Christine Ha has broken the glass ceiling in more ways than one. The 41-year-old is the first blind person winner of the prestigious reality TV series MasterChef and owns a restaurant called The Blind Goat in Texas. Ha, who is the face of Eone’s International Women’s Day campaign talks to Newz Hook in #InterviewOfTheWeek.
Newz Hook: Thank you for talking to Newz Hook. As the face of this International Women’s Day campaign, what would you like to women especially and to the world as a whole?
Christine Ha – Women should be celebrated and deserve equal access to all opportunities.
NH: From winning the MasterChef contest to owning your own restaurant, you are a powerful symbol of how gender and disability need not be barriers to carving your own unique space in the world. Would you agree with that?
CH: Yes and no. Yes, it is possible—I’ve demonstrated this. But we still have a long way to go in terms of paving the way for all women and all people with different abilities to have equal rights.
NH: The perception barriers are that much harder for women with disabilities in particular. Who are the people who motivated out when you faced these barriers?
CH: My friends and family. While they don’t always understand exactly how I feel or what I’m going through, they have been monumental in their support and encouragement.
NH: Specifically what did they tell you when you came up against such barriers?
CH: That life is going to be hard at times, but with the right resources and attitude, you can achieve great things. Be proactive—don’t wait for someone to help you. Find ways to help yourself.
NH: What next do you have in mind? Do you see yourself working closely with the disabled community going ahead in terms of helping build skills in this industry?
CH: Ever since winning MasterChef, I’ve been given this platform to advocate for those who are often marginalised in society, whether it be due to race, sexual orientation, gender, abilities, or socioeconomic backgrounds. It is a big responsibility, but I hope to continue raising awareness and helping to highlight and inspire those who most need it in this world.