I Love Fashion and Have a Disability—Here’s My Shopping List

On fashion industry inclusion:

“I think people want to see themselves in content. You don’t want people to feel forgotten. One billion people have a disability worldwide. Any person can walk outside and become disabled in a second. You can have an accident, and your whole life can change. My case is my case, but my case isn’t every case. A lot of fashion brands have been working with disabled models. That’s a good place to start. You can visibly see their disability. So many people have invisible disabilities, so we want to talk to them, too.”

“It all starts with storytelling. Nobody can tell that story better than that person. I know that my condition isn’t always visible or evident, which has sometimes made it challenging for me to both understand and explain to others. This is part of the need to eliminate the stigma associated with discussing disabilities. It isn’t something that we need pity for, we want progress. I have a seemingly normal life, but there are hidden struggles.”

“And being okay with the fact that the story isn’t always pretty. It’s hard in the fashion space. We have been held to these ideals of beauty for so long. That standard of this is what femininity is, and this is what beauty is. Maybe it’s not. Also having options. I think even about some of the beauty items I have. I can’t use them and open the bottle. My boyfriend has to open it for me. What if I want to use a vitamin C serum and it’s too difficult for me to open?”