Disability. Handicapped. Affliction
Disability within people have been ignored by the mainstream fashion industry. Every child and adult wants to fit in but it being that much harder to sink into the ‘norms’ of society. Do you think the fashion industry do enough to cater to people with disabilities?
For all the positives changes they are making within the fashion world, with diversity it’s the inclusivity of the people who feel under- represented. Portrayed though the how there are limit or no disabled models on catwalks or on billboard or on magazines. For someone who can’t physically walk and seeing what society views as beauty, I can’t even imagine how this can affect mental health.
Lack of awareness
The lack of visibility on billboards and catwalks for young children who have a disability to look upon only to be shown the mainstream fashion industry as “a lack of access to high-end clothes and to the shops themselves feels like a reminder that fashion ‘is not there to serve us’, says Mary Russell, who has dwarfism.” The idea stems from not wanting to be defined ‘by my disability’. As simple tasks from mainstream fashion are difficult to operate as daily frustrations, of simply getting dressed: including buttons, zips, narrow trouser shapes, restrictive necklines. Even before all this finding a store that is even wheelchair friendly is a task. Imagine seeing the most amazing red dress you’ve seen and even before trying it on, knowing it would look so nice. The intuition. You have the money, and you can see they have you size from the shop window but not even being able to get into the shop can be devastating. Or being able to get into the shop like an experience Monique Jarrett, 32, is a European champion in wheelchair dancing with Strictly Wheelchair Dancing but later finding out that there are no disabled changing rooms. I couldn’t even imagine.
However, there have been some designers like Tommy Hilfiger who launched the adaptive clothing line which has magnetic buttons which makes tasks seem easier. Making it so that instead of the people who have a disability and making them adapt to the clothing. Making the clothing adaptable to the user. ‘Tommy adaptive' mission is to be inclusive and empower people of all abilities to express themselves through fashion,’ the company said.
Personally, when my makeup, isn’t what I’ve wanted it to look like, I can just add a filter to my insta pic but If non- disabled girls are feeling the pressure to look a certain way, imagine how disabled girls, who can’t hide behind a filter, must feel scrolling through Instagram?
To conclude after reading these countless articles from Monique Jarrett, 32, who can fly to Florida by myself, so why can’t I get my Wheelchair Into a changing room? to Nancy Harris, 51, I hid my prosthetic leg behind shapeless, baggy clothes. Looking at how difficult it still is to shop in the 21st century for people with disabilities we should learn the ways of helping those who need it. Maybe collaborating more with the ideas of Tommy Hilfiger or more workshops or having more of a representation of people with disabilities on catwalks.