There were plenty of notable firsts at the 91st Oscars last night. For starters, it was the first time in 30 years that the telecast didn’t have a host (though Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey basically were the hosts), Marvel Studios won its first Oscar for Black Panther, as did a 25-year-old for her documentary about periods. Plenty others marked history last night, but the Oscars event that took my breath away happened on the red carpet: Selma Blair’s first public appearance since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
All eyes were on the badass Jewish mom as she graced the Vanity Fair Oscars party with her presence for the first time since announcing her illness last October. Dressed in a ballgown with a glorious matching cape and her short dirty blonde hair slicked back, the Another Life star looked like nothing less than a magnificent goddess. The cherry on top? Her pink diamond encrusted monogrammed cane.
Blair “burst into tears” when designer Tom Bachik presented her with the the ultimate customized walking cane. She wanted a special cane for the Vanity Fair dinner, and boy did she get one. “Hours of love put in,” Blair wrote in an Instagram post. “These gifts get me through.”
MS is an unpredictable and often disabling disease that can affect the brain, spinal cord, and vision. While some people may never experience symptoms of MS, Blair hasn’t been as fortunate. “I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS,” she wrote on Instagram. “If you see me, dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone.”
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I was in this wardrobe fitting two days ago. And I am in the deepest gratitude. So profound, it is, I have decided to share. The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself. I have #multiplesclerosis . I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and will power and the understanding producers at Netflix , I have a job. A wonderful job. I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it . And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends , especially @jaime_king @sarahmgellar @realfreddieprinze @tarasubkoff . My producers #noreenhalpern who assured me that everyone has something. #chrisregina #aaronmartin and every crew member… thank you. I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don’t have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok. But if you see me , dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges. And the biggest thanks to @elizberkley who forced me to see her brother #drjasonberkley who gave me this diagnosis after finding lesions on that mri. I have had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve. I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least. And I am relieved to at least know. And share. 🖤 my instagram family… you know who you are.
Standing tall and magnificently in the face of a debilitating disease, Blair, walking stick in hand, is giving the 2.3 million people in the world affected by MS the representation they crave. “I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others,” Blair wrote in a post. From the wave of tweets praising Blair for normalizing the struggles and triumphs of MS, it’s safe to say she’s definitely upheld that statement.
Mobility device glamor. https://t.co/4kT8ODuMoG
— Susan Stinson (@susanstinson) February 25, 2019
“I have so much respect for this woman, walking proudly with her cane and looking sensational doing it,” one Twitter user said.
Blair has thanked her star-studded group of friends, including her Cruel Intentions co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar and husband Freddie Prinze Jr., for their love and support. She also thanked photographer Mark Seliger for gifting her the portrait of a lifetime (as seen in the tweet above).
“When my life flashes before my eye, I want this portrait by Mark Seliger to be front and center,” Blair wrote. I mean, can you blame her? Her ice blue cape billowing in the wind and looking as royal as can be, this photograph totally captures Blair’s beauty, strength, and perseverance in an incredibly excruciating time.
Photo treatment by Kveller; Blair photo: Wireimage