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Fashion is for everyone. Clothing can heal.

One of my biggest personal gripes with the fashion industry is how exclusionary it is – not just in size and price accessibility – but in pretension. Everyone wears clothing – yet the industry at large spends money + energy making folks feel left out, not good enough. They hope this is “aspirational” – that we will pay hand over fist to get an invite to the cool club. But for many folks – it just makes us not want to participate at all.

No more. Not here. Fashion is for everyone. And it can heal.

I’m so excited to release our newest campaign highlighting these ideas. See below for 5 quick videos featuring each one featuring a woman as we chat about why they hate shopping, how fashion makes them feel left behind, and then watch us start to solve it all.

Stunning videography by Monet Eliastam, Models + Participants are: Christina, Michelle, Tricia, Jacqueline, and Meghan

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Model of the Model : Jenna Lee

January’s Model of the Month feature is Jenna Lee! Jenna joined the SG family during the #InYourSize campaign and then came back for our Spring 2017 runway show.

Always happy to have her! Learn more about her below.

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

I’m a subacute rehabilitation nurse. I help take care of patients after surgery. I love my job but it’s beyond challenging at times, so I do model as often as I can. I try to split to two equally.

2. How did you get involved with the brand?

I got involved with the brand via social media. I had seen a friend wearing an amazing printed maxi dress that I loved. When her caption mentioned smart glamour, I followed their social. I saw not only unique clothing, but unique models and I was so impressed. I saw a post for a casting and I remember feeling comfortable submitting (which was a first) because it stated it was specifically looking for all body types, not just the ones who “typically” get cast.

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

 I have modeled and walked for SmartGlamour multiple times. I truly believe in the work Mallorie is creating because there is such a need for ethical, stylish clothing in all sizes. I love being a part of her campaigns because they really feature everyone. There’s no exclusivity, which is unheard of in mainstream fashion. And the fact that she makes gorgeous clothing by hand and customizes it for all sizes is something that’s super special. I’m all about everyone feeling beautiful and that’s what she is about as well. Because of that, I’ll always be a supporter and come back.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

 Body positivity to me, means that you are happy with yourself in your current state and you want others to feel the same. It kills me to hear people say “ugh like 10 more lbs to lose before I can wear this or do that” I literally cringe because your weight should not stop you from doing anything in your life. We are ingrained with expectations to look a certain way and be a certain size to have “permission” to dress in certain fashions. Breaking all those rules is what body positivity means to me. Embracing everything- rolls, thighs, blemishes, stretch marks etc. Chances are most people have them and the energy we use to act like we don’t is much better used elsewhere. Body positivity is about not waiting to attain perfection but realizing you are perfect as you are, and then having the confidence to flaunt it.

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?

 The message I hope to get across to everyone from my photos is that you don’t have to fit the mold that society has created to feel beautiful or take a beautiful picture. I don’t fit it at all. I’m petite, actually plus size (16), and I’ve modeled for multiple companies, still dress fashionable, and most importantly, wear what I want. There’s no reason you can’t do the same.

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

 I would say first off, you need to come to terms with your insecurities because modeling is a career where thick skin is a must. More times than not you’re going to hear no. Understanding that that no doesn’t make you ugly, or too fat,or just not good enough- it only means you weren’t a good fit for that brand at that time. So, use it as a learning experience and keep it moving. The best advice I’ve ever heard is : you’re not going to be for everyone and that’s ok. You can’t allow the No’s to effect your sense of self worth and confidence. After you feel you have a strong sense of self and plenty of confidence, I would jump in and take some photos. They don’t have to be professional at all- have a friend take some on their phone just to get comfortable in front of the camera. Look at the pics and see what poses and facial expressions you like and try to expand those. When your comfortable, post them to your social! Use social media to your advantage because there are so many great photographers out there looking to shoot for their own portfolios that you can both benefit. After a few shoots, re-evaluate. Make sure you’re having fun with it. It shouldn’t be a source of stress or negativity. If you are, then start branching out to an actual portfolio and maybe some castings. Be brave! You don’t lose anything by applying. You lose by not taking the chance and that’s where you’re confidence and body positivity will come into play.
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Model of the Month : Moet Cristal

A few days late, but our last Model of the Month feature from 2017 is here, in 2018! This month we are introducing you to Moet Cristal – an SG staple who has been in multiple shoots, shows, and campaigns. Moet even created the floral backdrop from our Fall 2016 shoot and show. Learn more about this awesome artist below!



1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? 

I’m a freelance plus size model, visual artist focusing on curvy colorful work in mixed media, photography & digital form, as well as a personal care assistant. 

2. How did you get involved with the brand? 

I found SmartGlamour through their Winter Holiday campaign in 2015. When I went through seeing all those women of different heights, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, modeling such cute, luxurious styles, I was hooked on the brand. I then signed up for their newsletter and followed SG on Instagram and I auditioned in January/February 2016 for their Spring Fashion show and lookbook. 


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

The clothes are beautiful and unique! However the core, the soul of SmartGlamour is so beautiful. It is the atmosphere created by so many diverse, intelligent, multi talented babes who are all awesome in their eclectic ways, coming together for the sake of empowerment through designer Mallorie Dunn’s fashions. When we join together for an SmartGlamour event, shoot, or show, the feeling of encouragement oozes from each SG babe. It’s like a big fashionable, feminist family!

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

Body positivity is accepting and embracing yourself (and others) as you exist in this moment. Body positivity is for everyone and every type of body. It can be hard to unlearn what society tells us is “ideal” – but it’s doable by living moment by moment. What I have learned through working with and following SmartGlamour is that body positivity is realizing that your experience is only yours, and to be really bopo one must be able to listen to the multitude of varying experiences the people you encounter have. It is also standing up for yourself and people who are marginalized by the standards of society. We each deserve to achieve greatness and love ourselves as we are. When we advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves and may not an fair chance, we can all make progress and thrive.

5. If there is a message you could put across to other women/femmes/non binary through your modeling photos – what would that be?

I’m a very hairy, queer Puerto Rican woman, average height at about 5’5.5” tall, size 24-28 (3-5x depending on the brand), who deals with acne, wears glasses, and has had to cope with mental illnesses such as anxiety, ptsd, and depression throughout my life. I say all of that because society/trolls will try their best to make you feel terrible for being HUMAN – but I’m still out here being FIERCE, FAT AND FABULOUS!!! Modeling is something that I do for myself, and I love to do it, but it can be challenging when things are pulling at you to do other things, including hate yourself, or put yourself last. You have to learn to put yourself first! Learn to love yourself first and to see the innate beauty in not only your body, but your mind and spirit. Treat yourself well and exude your unique greatness in life. Those quirks you have are what makes you, you. Don’t let ANYONE (including your inner bully) dull your shine!!!

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

I would say DO IT! It is fun and very rewarding!!! If they are looking to make a career out of it,  I would give this advice: It’s competitive but I believe there’s room in the industry for everyone who will work hard for it. Start small and locally. Find someone, could be a friend, family member, or a photographer who is local to you to take photos of you. Take portraits and full length shots; experiment with poses, facial expressions, angles, and learn to find your light.
Practice, practice, practice! Post frequently on your social media and tag the brands that you wear. Google is your best friend; Research everything you can about the industry and niche you want to work in. Invest in what you need to present yourself the way you want, whether it’s clothes, makeup, tech, books, or classes. It can be an expensive adventure establishing a career as a model… But take it slow, one day at a time, one step at a time, and believe in yourself – you’re amazing, beautiful!

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Introducing the SmartGlamour Tribute Series: Feminist Artists of the 1970s

It’s almost Christmas, but did you know that SmartGlamour’s clothing lines have a hidden “easter egg?” You may have noticed that many of our products have people’s names — that’s not just a stylistic choice; it’s a deliberate way in which we pay homage to the people who have made waves and pioneered the way forward throughout history.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Holiday 2017 line, which celebrates feminist artists of the 70’s:

Renate Eisenegger

Renate Eisenegger is a multi-disciplinary avant-garde artist from Germany. Some of her photographic work includes painting her face with bright white paint and abstracting herself with geometric lines or photographing herself disappearing as she covers her features with cotton and tape. Recently, during an exhibition of Feminist Avant-Garde art in London, Renate Eisnegger stated, “For over forty years, no one took any interest in my works. They were all in the attic.” If you can find some of her art outside of an attic, then you should go check it out.

Lynn Hershman Leeson

Lynn Hershman Lesson is living art. For two years in the seventies, she created an entirely different persona and lived that persona’s life instead of her own. She explored her own femininity through the construction of someone else’s — of her experience, she said, “Through fiction you can sometimes get to a deeper truth.” Beyond using herself as a canvas, her later art included film and digital technology to explore desire, femininity, and social construction.

Cindy Sherman

A woman after my own heart, Cindy Sherman explored the performance of “woman” through photography throughout the seventies. Using makeup, wigs, and clothing, she constructed a series of personas and photographed herself, raising questions about “common stereotypes and cultural assumptions” while simultaneously creating and critiquing the photograph and its viewer.

Karin Mack

Austrian artist Karin Mack also played with identity in her works. She began her career as a documentary photographer — one who photographs things as they are — but she quickly moved to concept photography to explore and deconstruct the idealized image and the expectations we place on the image of “woman.” One of her most striking series explores “the death of the image…as an act of liberation.”

Mary Beth Edelson

Mary Beth Edelson is an American multidisciplinary artist who was also active in the feminist and civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s. Her work deconstructs patriarchal history, as in Some Living Women Artists/Last Supper, where she replaced the heads of the men in da Vinci’s famous painting with her peers. She often turns to goddesses and strong female characters and tropes from history and fiction in her art.

Hannah Wilke

Using unconventional media, like chewing gum and laundry lint, Hannah Wilke’s work was radical and in-your-face. She was a performance artist who was unafraid to shy away from the taboo — which meant that many of her pieces were evocative of (or explicitly about) the vulva/vagina. She often used her own body as a canvas — such as in an iconic photograph of herself covered in chewing gum shaped like vulvas in the S.O.S. — Starification Object Series.

VALIE EXPORT

VALIE EXPORT was born Waltraud Lehner. As a revolt against parents who had been complacent during the Nazi regime and against patriarchal norms, she shed her father’s and husband’s names, and instead took the name of a brand of cigarettes. Her artwork was performative and in-your-face — including a piece of performance art called Tap and Touch Cinema, wherein she wore a curtained “theater” on her upper body and had passersby touch her unseen breasts through the curtain. She also wrote a powerful manifesto on women’s art in 1972.

It’s amazing how much feminist art has flown just off below radar of popular culture. If any of these women and their work sparked your curiosity, go and take a deep dive! The more we support the feminist art that does exist, the more room it creates in the popular narrative for art like this. 

SmartGlamour pays tribute to more than just this one group of people — stay tuned for future posts explaining the backstory and history behind the names of your favorite pieces of clothing.

And don’t forget: December 1 is your last day to shop in order to receive your order by Christmas, and December 8 is your last day if you want your order in time for New Year’s Eve! If you’ve been waiting to order, now’s the time.

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Model of the Month: Farin

This month’s model of the month is Farin! Farin has been modeling for us for just shy of two years, and has participated in shoots, shows, and videos. Learn more about her below!


Farin in the Marilyn Dress from Spring 2016

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?
I direct opera and coach singers, and stage manage theater. And some other modeling.
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I saw a friend’s sister model a dress I loved. Once I learned more, I loved the fashion, and the representation without tokenism, and the message. I got in touch, and was asked to be woman of the week!
Submitting for the next casting call was oh-screw-it standing-in-my-kitchen-at-1:00am decision, and a great one!

Farin in the Ayla Camisole Dress and Janis Suede Duster from Fall 2017

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
It’s so satisfying, and such such a positive, celebratory environment, for one thing. And I’m proud to represent what it means. It has impact; people have written that it means so much to see someone with a cane as  a ‘model’ in an uncompromisingly fashionable and glamorous way.
And while it is challenging for me to do, I’m in grateful shock at Mallorie’s support- many times even physically! (literally #womensupportingwomen!)
4. What does body positivity mean to you?
It means more than I can possibly unpack. But more than anything, it means treating bodies as wonderful, without pretending one is a shape or size it’s not. It means bodies aren’t problems, or worth, and deserve agency and joy.

Farin on the Fall 2016 Runway

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?
It takes work. There’s a lot about everyone that’s invisible, no matter how glam they look! Whatever feels like a struggle isn’t just you, and doesn’t take away from your shine! And that you aren’t relegated to less than anyone- all of you can shine!
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?
Of course know the demands, including openness. But if you feel the pull but are scared? Be scared, try anyway. At least with SG, you won’t regret it.

Farin in the Hedy Colorblocked Dress from Fall 2016

 

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Model of the Month : Tracy Rivas

October’s Model of the Month feature is all about Tracy Rivas! Tracy was introduced to SmartGlamour in 2015, and has participated in campaigns, shoots, and shows since. She is a positive ray of light – and we love having her as a part of the SG family. Read more about her below!


Tracy in our Hillary Cropped Tee during the Fall 2015 Runway Show

 

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do? I work as a community events manager at WeWork. I oversee and source events for our 40 buildings in New York City.

2. How did you get involved with the brand? A good friend of mine, Alexa Rose Mullen, asked me to join her to visit a SmartGlamour pop-up shop in the East Village. I was immediately drawn to the clothing and the mission behind SmartGlamour. I was then asked to be a part of Mallorie’s #SameSizeDifferentEyes Campaign, which was an incredibly inspiring campaign and I became more in love with the brand than I already was.  I was then fortunate enough to walk one of her Fall Fashion Runway Shows and life officially changed forever. I am forever indebted to Mallorie and will be her advocate and ambassador for LIFE.

Tracy and Alexa in our #SameSizeDifferentEyes campaign


3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back? It’s an honor and a privilege to come back and model for Mallorie. Every time, I feel my super woman wings appear and I feel unstoppable. Supporting and representing SmartGlamour means I am helping to allow other women and femmes to feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin.
 
4. What does body positivity mean to you? Body positivity means being unaffected by the judgments and criticisms of society where I am limitless in feeling badass, beautiful, confident and comfortable in my own skin. There is a sort of invincibility in the things that you can do when you are in body positive with yourself and with others.

Tracy in our Hensley Mesh Bralette with Appliques and Royalle Underwear

 
5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be? There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.
 
6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try? No one is stopping you but yourself, go out and show the world how incredibly beautiful and wonderful you are!
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Model of the Month : Bear Spiegel

This month’s model feature is all about Bear Spiegel! Bear has been modeling with us for just over a year now. They’ve participated in runway shows, photo shoots, campaigns, and videos. Learn a bit more about them below.


Bear in our Amelia Graphic Tee

1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?

Primarily I am an actor and activist doing my best to use theatre to educate and inspire others. I also perform in the city living out my fantasy as a drag queen, Bear Lee Legal. And I’m finishing up my final year of college in which I am getting my BA in acting along with a minor in gender and sexuality studies.

2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I found a post in a Facebook group for queer women and transgender performers in which SmartGlamour was looking for models of all experiences to be in their #InYourSize campaign. I submitted, was selected, and was immediately hooked.

Bear in our Nikki Halter Top and Gloria High Waist Shorts

3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?

As a nonbinary person, I don’t always feel safe and validated in, primarily, femme spaces. SmartGlamour is a completely judgment free zone in regards to the clothing, my fellow models, and of course our fearless designer Mallorie. My gender and entire self never feels more validated than when I am doing a shoot with SG. I consistently leave with a smile on my face and an incredible amount of confidence.

4. What does body positivity mean to you?

To me, body positivity means minding your own goddamn business. It means that you focus on loving yourself, while not judging what anyone else is doing with their body. Body positivity is supporting ALL kinds of people in whichever way they choose to present themselves. My favorite motto is ‘your body, your choice’. This applies to what goes in my body, on my body, around my body, and out of my body.

Bear in our Carbone Cropped Sweater and Malala Pants

5. If there is a message you could put across to women/femmes/non binary folks through your modeling photos – what would that be?

Clothing is not gendered. It is merely pieces of fabric with holes cut out of it and cut in different shapes. I always shop wherever I want to shop in whichever ‘section’ I want to shop because if I find something that is cute, you can bet I’m going to wear it because I am cute.

6. What is your advice to people who would like to give modeling a try?

My advice would be to make sure that you are modeling for you, and not anyone else. Find a supportive group of models/designers/photographers/etc. that want you to present yourself un-apologetically. Don’t try to emulate someone else when you model, just be you!!

Bear on the Fall 2016 Runway

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Body Positive Modeling and Tips

Here at SmartGlamour, we are committed to promoting body positivity in the fashion world not just through our clothing, but through the images we share on this website and social media. We aim to have SmartGlamour’s models represent every kind of body you can find.

And when we say “all” bodies are good bodies, we mean “all” in the literal sense.

SmartGlamour holds castings open to the public for models in our Spring and Fall campaigns, as well as periodically have open-to-the-public castings for smaller campaigns, usually focused on new designs and fabrics added to SmartGlamour’s line. Recently, SmartGlamour’s founder Mallorie Dunn held a body positive modeling class for SmartGlamour’s models. Here are some tips she shared in that class, for support in your body positive modeling career!

Things to think of before you get in front of the camera:

  1. Who’s the photographer? If you know who you’re shooting with, look up or ask for samples of their work and get a sense of their style.
  2. What makeup and hair will be needed for the shoot? If you’re attending a casting or a shoot and no information has been given, ask. Be as prepared as you possibly can.
  3. What poses will you give the photographer? Have about three to five poses ready as your fallback. If you aren’t sure what poses to use, consider:
    • How you normally stand can be a pose!
    • Three variations of a pose that will give different looks in a shot include turning your head in a different direction, putting a hand on your hip instead of hanging down and a look away instead of directly at the camera.
    • Some faux “movements” you can try are taking a step forward (to simulate walking), a fake “jump” if you’re able. Hands extended can be fun and work to give your pose movement as well.

When in front of the camera:

  1. Think about where the light will hit you. If you are looking to highlight a part of your body (such as your face), you want to be sure that the light is facing in that direction.
  2. Whether the frame is a headshot photo, upper torso, full length, etc. keep in mind the positioning of the parts of your body that will be in the photo, particularly if you are looking to highlight an item of clothing or accessory in the shot. If you are not sure what frame the photographer is shooting, ask them.
  3. Think about what details need to be shown of what you’re modeling. For example, if you are modeling a top with a detailed back design, you will want to include some shots of the detail in the back. If you are not sure what should be shown, be proactive and ask the photographer and/or the person or company for whom you’re working.
  4. Many people hold stress in their face and this can come through in a shot. Remember to breathe between each shot, and with each exhalation let your face settle into whatever look you’re trying to give. Also remember that, while you are working, you’re having fun! Let your joy you feel modeling shine in your face (even if you aren’t smiling).
  5. It’s a good idea to ask the photographer about the shots, especially if you aren’t getting feedback. This will help you picture what you’re giving the camera as you pose.

Tips for the runway:

Whether you’re modeling for SmartGlamour or another company, please keep in mind:

  1. The points where you need to pause to show off the clothing. The runway director will give you direction.
  2. The direction of the light. Think of it as a moving photo! The light will be on you. Keep your head up!
  3. The placement of the photographer at the end of the runway, who will be looking to get two to three shots of you. Have a few poses ready to go for that point of your walk.
  4. When you’re walking away from the photographer and back to start, you’re still on the runway. Work it at every point on the runway!

Other body positive modeling tips:

  1. Your body is your body and not some other body. Remember you are using your form to show off the clothing. Do not try to contort yourself into some other body shape, size or profile.
  2. It’s OK to say no if you aren’t comfortable with something the photographer or company you’re modeling for wants you to do.
  3. Ask all the questions you need to ask to get comfortable and knowledgeable about what they’re expecting of you.
  4. Advocate for yourself. If you need something to make the job work for you, kindly ask for it!

We hope these tips help you in your body positive modeling journey!

SmartGlamour has an open casting call up, with a few slots left for auditions! Today is the last day to apply (8/30). Please follow SmartGlamour’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for more information about the audition and the Fall 2017 show. Also, keep up with SmartGlamour via our newsletter!

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Model of the Month : Ana York

Our next Model of the Month has been working with us for multiple years now – Ana York!

She’s been in runway shows, look books, and mini shoots alike. Learn more about her below.


1. Aside from occasionally modeling for SmartGlamour – what do you do?
I work in Human Resources in hospitality!
2. How did you get involved with the brand?
I got involved with SmartGlamour at first modeling jewelry and then I modeled for the Spring 2015 collection!
3. You’ve modeled for us multiple times – what makes you continue to come back?
There are multiple things that makes me come back! The clothes are of course a given. Each article of clothing is catered to you and your body measurements which I think is so valuable and unique. I’m tall and plus size so to have a custom garment is truly one of a kind and wonderful. I come back for the positive and safe space Mallorie and my fellow models have created. Everyone is accepting of one another, cheers each other on, and being in such an environment is hard to find nowadays.  The positive environment created speaks to the brand, SmartGlamour itself and that is an ultimate reason for coming back. I am honored to represent a brand that carries a truly inclusive and consistent message.
4. What does body positivity mean to you?
To me body positivity means not only an acceptance but a pride and celebration of your body. No matter your size, it’s the positive  affirmation that you are beautiful and worthy of love and happiness.
5. If there is a message you could put across to other people through your modeling photos – what would that be?
I always try to emphasize that my body acceptance journey is still underway. I want people to see that yes, I am confident, but I also have insecurities and things I try to work on. I think that kind vulnerability is important to see and hopefully inspires women that it’s okay to not always feel like you have it together. However, I make a point to show and applaud myself on how far I have come. From someone who was in an abusive relationship with no self esteem to modeling in lingerie, the last few years, I have grown exponentially!
6. What is your advice to other people who would like to give modeling a try?
I think the most important advice to realize it takes so much time, research, money, and effort to be a model. You have to learn your body and angles. You have to network and really be okay with putting yourself out there. It’s tough and there’s a lot of competition so it’s also important to not let rejection get to you. But it’s been such a valuable and rewarding experience for me that I would gladly encourage someone to give it a try.
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In #FashionForAll, #AllMeansAll : Disability

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.

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