One day I received an email from a cane user who told me she was in tears (happily) after seeing a model glamorously posing amidst the other models on my site, while using her cane. I won’t go into too many details, for the privacy of both her and my model – but suffice it to say, she had never seen that before, and this is why just one example of why representation is so important.
There is so much “othering” happening in our society today – and a group that absolutely feels the brunt of it are disabled folks. We (generally, as a society) infantalize them, assume they can do less than they can, stating they are automatically “inspiring” by just living, and that they constantly need our help through every little thing. (Please watch our Round Table Discussion videos with a few disabled women and femmes to listen to them directly on these issues.) We refuse to see them as whole, beautiful people, full of talent, intelligence, worth, or even sex appeal. The only way to chip away at this – is by changing how they are seen. And the biggest way to do that – is through media representation.
As I’ve stated previously with our last #AllMeansAll installments (Gender, Size, Skin Color) – SmartGlamour has been including all folks since day one – but did not want to tokenism them or exploit their differences for our gain. Every model is equal to the next in SmartGlamour spaces. However, there is a need to take a stand, highlight these folks, and amplify their voices. Yesterday, we produced the following shoot with only disabled models – and guess what? It was exactly like every other SG shoot.
All folks wear clothes. All folks deserve to have access to ethical, affordable, comfortable, fun clothing. Fashion is fun – and should be for all people. And when we say all, we mean all.
For the full shoot – head to our Facebook album.