Roland Mate, UNYQer interview
Roland Mate is a famous TV presenter, speaker and model from Hungary, who stands for amputees representation in the media. His motto: Live and let live.
Read his thoughts about amputees’ inclusion in the media in his country.
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Read here the full interview and send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share your story with us too.
"Amputees shouldn’t be underrepresented in the media but unfortunately it is our reality."
Each of us has a personal life story that makes us unique, what is yours?
I will be 37 this summer. It will soon be five years since I had to have the lower part of my leg (below the knee) amputated due to an arterial blockage. Despite my amputation, my social life remains vibrant. I enjoy being surrounded by many people, particularly those who are cheerful and positive. My love for my family and the connections I’ve formed with people I respect and care deeply about have enriched my life.
In terms of my career, I have been working in the media since I was 18 years old, sometimes on radio, sometimes on television, and at times, at various events. Considering myself a very positive person, I find joy in my work, the excitement of parties, and the thrill of traveling. Even after my amputation, I continue to pursue activities like cycling and dancing that bring me happiness.
I have channeled my experiences as an amputee into running a blog, advocating for acceptance and body positivity. This has allowed me to participate in various campaigns and even organize events dedicated to these causes.
I advocate for amputees representation in the media and I’m my own example.
Roland Mate – Amputees representation in the media
What’s your opinion about amputees representation in the media? Are they underrepresented?
Amputees shouldn’t be underrepresented in the media but unfortunately it is our reality. I work in the media and I must admit that I was very worried about being employed after my amputation, because unfortunately we are not open enough about this yet. The first time after my amputation, I presented the Hungarian final of the Miss Europe Continental in a wheelchair. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. It was a huge spiritual test and experience at the same time. Then, after I had received my artificial leg, I definitely wanted to continue my work. To start with, I broadcast a morning radio show, and currently I also work in television. This must not set a barrier for us. If you ask me, people with disabilities are not sufficiently employed in the media in this country (Hungary). And it would and should be necessary, the norm. This way we could get acknowledged and accepted by the general public.
There are countless things that I want to achieve in this profession, and I am not alone with this. But to reach this, there should be sufficient open-mindedness. We should not discriminate, because if someone is talented in their profession – and it should be any profession – then the fact that they are an amputee should not be an obstacle. Let the standards be equal, in all aspects, this should not be the cause of disadvantages or advantages. Regardless, I have noticed that there has been a positive change in this country as well, but it is still far from perfect or at least ideal. I am very happy to see that more and more foreign media and campaigns are employing amputees, both adults and children. This is great!
“If I had to give advice to another UNYQer it would be that we are in the best possible place! And I would tell them to wear their cover with pride and would encourage them to share their experience.”
What does wearing UNYQ Covers mean to you?
Certainly, for me, it adds a lot to my life mentally because I really like extreme things, and this is quite an extreme UNYQ Cover–in the most possibly positive way It‘s dressy, it’s trendy and it gives me confidence, so I wear it very proudly.
I think it helps a lot of amputees massively! UNYQ Covers look very nice, according to the people around me too, and they have also greatly contributed to the acceptance of my changed body image. Thank you!
I think with these coatings we can express ourselves, indeed. The selected coating also reflects our personality! It is one of the pillars of self-expression for an amputee. In my opinion, just by seeing the chosen cover, you can find out a lot about the person it ‘belongs to’. I love the fact that it is very easy to put on, only takes a few seconds. Moreover, another added bonus is that you can choose from such a wide range and he practicality and design are perfect for me.
For me, without any exaggeration, they are perfect. But if I had to mention just one thing then I might just say that I would love to have some more extravagant, cool coatings for various events, even for just one show!