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…)
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.