Last week I was lucky enough to take part in one of Easter Seals Thrive’s regular Twitter chats on disability. The subject this time was beauty and clothing, tackling things such as disability representation in the fashion industry, our personal relationships with fashion, the near-universal fugness of assistive equipment, and our favourite clothing hacks (leggings, leggings, leggings). It was a great conversation and you can (no, should!) check out on Storify here, or by searching the #DisabilityBeauty hashtag on Twitter. (more…)
I was a pretty good kid, standard-issue teenage grumpiness aside, and when I think back to my youthful forays into rebellion, they came almost exclusively in the form of how I chose to dress. Looking back on my clothing choices now, they seem quaint, bordering on adorable. Wide-leg purple corduroys (yikes!), too-tight band t-shirts (they only came in one size!), armfuls of plastic jewelry, half a stick of black kohl round my eyes. The usual “I’m from a small town but I’m unique and have feelings, Mum!” uniform. But it was also my first attempt to stand out from the crowd in a way that I controlled myself as a young, visibly disabled woman in a society where inclusion and acceptance of difference is hard to come by. (more…)
I was lucky enough to be part of a panel at the Gender and Disability conference on 10th May, hosted by the Gender Research Network at University of Sheffield and the Disability Research Forum at Sheffield Hallam University.
Along with Mathy Selvakumaran (University of Sheffield), I discussed things such as stereotypes, beauty norms, body image, clothing and the idea of disabled bodies as public bodies.
It was a really great panel to be a part of, which created some good discussion and questions from the audience.
You can listen to it here (clink link)
Alternatively, if you would like to read the notes from my part of the presentation, you can email me and I’ll send them to you (email address on the contact page)
When I attended the Better Lives lecture on ableism in fashion at the London College of Fashion last Tuesday, the speakers were all in agreement that these discussions seem to be cyclical — that every now and again we will see disabled models used in fashion shoots or on the runway, with lots of coverage in the media only for things to end there and repeat a few years later. As Michael Shamash put it, “I feel like I’ve been writing about the same thing for fifteen years.”
I wrote an article on the problematic nature of normcore, normalcy and disability for The Style Con. You can read it here.