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To say that the fashion industry can be a little exclusionary is a like saying lemon juice makes a less than ideal substitute for contact solution. Between heavily photoshopped women, an almost complete absence of People of Color, and unrealistic, often dangerous, levels of thinness forced upon models, who exactly are they trying to represent?? The fashion industry seems to be more concerned with producing digitally edited chimeras out of their models than creating clothing which make people happy about themselves, which, presumably, should be their aim.
However, there is some good news. There are those trying to change the bleak, misogynistic hellscape which is the modern fashion industry. These people are disabled models, and they are everything we could ever want.
Source: Daily Mail
Disabled models are taking the industry by storm and turning ableist conventions of the fashion industry on their head. New York Fashion Week turned plenty of heads by partnering with Fondazione Vertical and Models of Diversity to put on an incredible (and incredibly diverse) fashion show called “Loving You.” The models wore futuristic, almost space age, clothes to symbolize the New York Fashion Week’s promise to be forward thinking.
The show’s models ranged from the best known to the most obscure. Not only did the fashion show cater to models of all kinds of fame — it was also open to models with any kind of disability. Actors with developmental as well as physical disabilities were in attendance, the most famous of whom was Jamie Brewer, a star from several seasons of American Horror Story. “We’re role models, not just runway models,” the actress and model said. The show also featured Jack Eyers, the first male amputee to ever walk the New York Runway. The only way “Loving You” could have been any more amazing would have been to have Kathrine Beattie, a woman with cerebral palsy and member of the competitive wheelchair motocross scene, had shredded a half pipe while wearing a designer dress.
There are a lot of industries with problematic histories, everything from television, to publishing, to the tech sector. The male dominance of space leads to most sectors, especially those where there’s money to be made, potentially very problematic. But if “Loving You” has proved one thing, it’s that even the most problematic scenes can become a place of accessibility and love.