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    Getting Outed, Getting Older, Trends & Ex-Girlfriends

    📺 - #DwhellOnIt Ep. 59 - tinyurl.com/3pdekfkn

    🗣 - "I acknowledge that there are failed systems. I don't go to bed worrying about it. I don't lose #Sleep over it. It's because other #people are failures. Other #people are emotionally intolerant. Other #people are incapable of being compassionate, understanding, educatable, or competent, or however it goes. That's all them. Every time I get deadnamed or misgendered, I stand taller because I'm the better person."

    ❓ - What's #DwhellOnIt ?

    👀 - Dwhell On It is a series where I answer your questions about my lived #experience as a #trans woman!

    📺 - A new episode gets uploaded every week! - tinyurl.com/nzbr8k27

    ‼️ - Get engaged!

    ➕ - Subscribe for more episodes & similar #Content ! - https://tinyurl.com/mupvwkcy

    ✉️ - #Comment w/ thoughts & questions!

    👍🏻 - Please #like & #Share !

    🔖 - Bookmarks!

    * Do you #Love or hate any #Fashion trends differently since you came #Out ?

    * Has anyone ever outed you before you came #Out ?

    * What was puberty like for you?

    * How do you cope with being deadnamed or misgendered?

    * Has anyone from previous relationships found #Out , and have they spoken with you since?

    🔗 - Links! 

    * Does anyone misgender you whom you wish they wouldn't? Have you confronted them about it? - tinyurl.com/2s4avx9m

    * How do you deal with trolls? Is there anything you want to do to trolls? - https://tinyurl.com/mstf6jm9

    * What was the best reaction you got after you came #Out ? The worst? The most surprising? - https://tinyurl.com/4ky5hdfu

    * #Canada Voted In Favour of Policing Women's Bodies! - https://tinyurl.com/56b67cr9

    * #winnipeg City Council Approves To Prefer #Kindness - https://tinyurl.com/4nf8w4jf

    👀 - Create #change !

    📣 - End anti-2SLGBTQIA+ abuse! - tinyurl.com/2p98f8hc

    📣 - You can #help ! Everything inspiring HireWheller stays ongoing - biased systems, ignorant platforms, violent abusers & isolated victims.

    📣 - Grassroots #power comes from its #people ! Get involved or refer others you know to challenge systemic violence & oppression!

    💻 - Connect!

    @HireWheller: A grassroots group to #help the 2SLGBTQIA+ #Community overcome often-minimized struggles.

    #Instagram : tinyurl.com/5n6dm696

    #Facebook : tinyurl.com/6pww46b8

    #Twitter : tinyurl.com/26sbj4zb

    👱🏼‍♀️ - Look me up!

    @TaylorLakhryst: #Transgender woman, advocate, INFJ, ♊️, she/her/hers 🏳️‍⚧️

    Linktree: linktr.ee/TaylorLakhryst

    📒 - Alt information

    * Text: Dwhell on it w/ Taylor Lakhryst Ep. 59 - Getting Outed, Getting Older, Trends & Ex-Girlfriends - HIREWHELLER

    * Description: A blonde woman wearing a striped grey t-shirt and a grey sweater is smiling & sitting on a black chair in front of a beige wall. There is turquoise text with a grey & black accent.

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    GAMUT Seal of Approval Identifies Adaptive Clothing for People With Disabilities

    The date was March 24, 2022. I happened to be watching “The View” on ABC when Mindy Scheier, the founder of GAMUT Management, was being interviewed with her son, Oliver. GAMUT is the leading consulting and talent company with and for people with disabilities. My daughter Yassy happened to be off work that day, so I called her in to watch. She was captivated by Mindy and Oliver’s interview. Yassy was quiet, but her interest was clear. When a fashion show came on the screen showing GAMUT models, who all had disabilities, Yassy’s interest turned to joy and excitement. Yassy is 22 and has Down syndrome and autism. She is also one of the over 800 actors/models on GAMUT’s roster. She is fairly new to this acting/modeling world so seeing this was new for her. I told her that maybe one day she can model in a show like that, something she already was seeing and noting for herself. Representation matters, more than most people realize. Fast forward to this summer when GAMUT made an announcement to its talent community. It stated that a new GAMUT Seal of Approval ™ will be launched later this year and asked its talent roster to send in very short videos stating what that seal means to them. The video was released July 26th, the anniversary of the creation of the ADA. Yassy was on board immediately, as were many others. As a parent who knows that we have to step up to help create the world we want for our children, I have tremendous admiration for leaders like Mindy who take one need and not only solve it, they change the world for more than their immediate concerns. Mindy started Runway of Dreams, and later GAMUT Management when her 8-year-old son Oliver wanted to wear jeans to school. Oliver has muscular dystrophy and no jeans would fit over his braces. He also needed pants without buttons and zippers. Being a fashion designer, Mindy decided right then and there to not only solve that immediate problem, but to make fashion more accessible for all. Oliver is now a very fashion-forward 17, and GAMUT is growing leaps and bounds, just like he is. It was an honor to recently speak with Mindy and her amazing team at GAMUT about this new Seal of Approval. GAMUT Management was organically born when many designers, companies, and interested parties wanted to learn more about how to responsibly be more inclusive for people with disabilities after discovering Runway of Dreams. They were reaching out to Mindy Scheier and her team at Runway of Dreams, which is a non-profit foundation. A for-profit company was created, GAMUT Management, providing consulting and talent management. Now the third arm of GAMUT, accreditation, is being finalized. This crucial piece is the GAMUT Seal of Approval.™ For consumers who are in the marketplace for adaptive products, either for themselves or those they care for: this Seal means the product has been vetted by people with disabilities, caregivers, experts, and professionals in the community. GAMUT’s diverse and very talented team is making sure that proper criteria are developed for this seal. The team consists of core members: Mindy Scheier, CEO, Molly Kettle, COO, Jonathan Kaufman, Chief Strategy Officer who also happens to have a disability, and Kerri McBee-Black, Chief Research Officer. They also have an independent group of evaluators that will be fluid. Integrity is very important to GAMUT and the seal, thus the need for the evaluators to be independent of GAMUT. This group includes people with disabilities, occupational therapists, physical therapists, researchers, designers, product experts, and others. The goal is to have the actual seal officially launched and featured by companies by the end of 2022. GAMUT cannot reveal most of the companies currently trying to get the seal for confidentiality purposes. However, they are proud to announce that adidas Accessories (hats, bags, socks, men’s underwear) is on board to earn the seal. GAMUT’s list of corporate clients to date includes companies like Victoria’s Secret, Target, LVMH, Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, and Kohl’s among others. Part of Gamut’s mission states: “GAMUT is rebranding the way people with disabilities are viewed, marketed to, and represented in pop culture.” While all of this is true, I want to add a crucial point. Every time GAMUT interacts with a brand, designer, or corporation they are opening the company’s eyes as employers. Gently, with genuine interactions and relationships, companies start to see themselves as employers who can employ more people with disabilities. They look at themselves and start to take a corporate inventory of how they can become more inclusive and accommodating to all disabilities. This is not something GAMUT is formally tasked to do, it is something that is part of their core beliefs and culture, that spreads to those they work with. Organically. Sustainably. Look at that list of corporate partners above again, and then picture the truly large impact this is having knowing there are other companies not listed, and so many more to come. On March 24, 2022, 17-year-old Oliver Scheier said these profound words in his interview with “The View.” “It boggles my mind every day that such an insignificant ask (the jeans he wanted to wear when he was 8) can turn into something so world-changing. It’s unprecedented.” He then praised his mother who he loves very much. That ask and world-changing movement for adaptive clothing now will include a mark of quality to reassure everyday people like you and me that a stringent set of requirements for creating adaptive products has been met. Kudos to GAMUT Management! Look for the logo in this article in stores near you soon, and support those truly inclusive companies!

    Brittany Johnson

    Why One Woman Wants to Relax Her Hair Due to ADHD

    Structure, routines, and commitment are the three things needed to really excel at having natural hair. Structure, routines, and commitment are, of course, the three things I struggle with due to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) When I first transitioned into being natural, natural hair and its maintenance was ultimately one of my hyper fixations. I loved it so much, and I’m happy I did because through that I learned to accept parts of me and my Blackness that I never had before. I needed to go through that in order to be who I am today. That being said, who I am today struggles with her hair in ways I don’t think I would if I were neurotypical. A washday can be anywhere from two hours to six (or more) hours. I’m not a braider so styling can take 45 minutes to two hours. Obscene amounts of patience are needed if I haven’t detangled my hair in a while, and when the ADHD brain is in “go” mode, it’s not as big of a deal. Sadly for me, my ADHD brain loves to stall out and avoid all of this for as long as it can, which ultimately just makes it worse in the long run. Split ends get worse, fairy knots become my greatest enemy, and don’t get me started on what it’s like to fight a natural forming dread loc. Growing up, hair wasn’t a “thing,” because I was relaxed. Every few weeks my mother would take me to the salon and I would get my roots touched up, so I was never introduced to my natural hair until I was old enough to do it myself at 18. Even though in my teenage years my hair was brittle and severely damaged, when my relaxed hair was being properly taken care of beforehand, life just seemed easier. Washing my hair was quick. I didn’t have to twist my hair ahead of time, and plan the perfect time to take my hair down so I could have day two twist out hair and not day one. It’s a lot, and honestly too much for my ADHD brain to handle sometimes. Getting a relaxer again feels controversial, because it feels like I’m betraying my race or culture, even though I know I’m not and before some non-Black person tries to console me, don’t. You don’t understand the weight that comes with hair for Black people, especially Black women. Blackness is versatile and multifaceted, and I would be perming it not because I hate my natural hair or because I’m trying to assimilate into whiteness like I was conditioned to do when I was younger, but just because of how time-consuming my hair can be in my own life, and how it doesn’t play well with my brain. I love my natural hair so much. I love the texture and how springy my coils are. I love that my hair is so uniquely me with different patterns all over my head (and not just because of that one silk press I got years ago that caused some heat damage). All of this is true, but if your brain isn’t built to maintain something you love, does it really matter? Yes, I have some hacks for maintaining my hair even with ADHD, but as great as these hacks are they aren’t foolproof solutions. There are pros and cons to having my normal virgin hair texture and to getting a perm, but in these moments where I’m stuck in ADHD paralysis and I’m in a standoff with a wide tooth comb, some deep conditioner, and a tub of Blue Magic, I can’t help but think that maybe it’s the better option. If you’re natural and struggling with your hair because of your ADHD, you aren’t alone. At the end of the day, it’s your hair, and what you do with it is nobody’s business but your own. Make your hair work for you, whatever that looks like.

    Brittany Johnson

    4 Natural Hair Maintenance Hacks for Black People With ADHD

    I’m Black, and typically what comes with being Black is a kinky curlier hair texture that, while versatile and gorgeous, can be a bit much to take care of at times when you live with different health conditions. When I first went natural, natural hair became a definite hyperfixation for me. I spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours dedicated to learning about my neglected hair texture that I didn’t even know I had. I big chopped and was obsessed with length checks, trying new styles the minute I could, and keeping a strict routine with my tresses. Then I got busier and I worked jobs where I had to be careful what styles I got because I had to fit it under a hat or other head pieces, and the hyperfixation ended. My hair became a chore, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) plus chores equals a not-fun time. Where I used to have weekly wash days, I started having biweekly ones. Then from there it changed to monthly, and I’m ashamed to say that at times I ended up washing my hair every two months. I’m trying to get better, but with ADHD it’s hard to stay on top of everything. The plus side is that over the years, I’ve figured out some hacks for maintaining my hair in the meantime between washdays that ultimately help when the time comes. Now, this is for my hair, and everyone’s hair has different needs. This is what works for me, but take it all with a grain of salt. 1. Big chunky braids in a ponytail holder. Immediately. I did not get the braiding gene, so don’t expect any good braiding tips here. We’re talking about big, messy “maybe I should put these under a bonnet” braids. The Celie from “The Color Purple” kinda braids. You know what I’m getting at. After wash day my hair is typically very detangled. From there what I do is put it into four big chunky braids with some mini twists in the front for a bang. I put those braids in a ponytail holder, which isn’t exactly the cutest but I work from home and no one knows any better on Zoom. I try to pick easy “styles” (if you can even call it that) that keep my hair as detangled as possible. 2. Mini detangling sessions throughout the weeks. When I take my hair out of those chunky braids, I moisturize my hair as we’re supposed to. First I spritz it with water, but after I take conditioner and go through my hair lightly. Just enough to make sure my hair has some “slip.” I rake my hands through my hair doing my best to get any shed hair out while lightly detangling. This isn’t getting a big tooth comb out and the banana clips by far. It’s enough to help style my hair for the day while also stopping it from matting up, which means a quicker wash day when the time comes, and that makes my brain happy. This is never intentional, as I don’t know when I’m leaving my house. I tend to wait until my hair is dry and I have the energy, then I go for it because I need that added pressure and urgency to do my hair. However, adding a small mini detangling session helps keep my hair from getting matted, even if I’m just putting it in a ponytail. 3. If you can afford it, get the protective styles. Crochet, braids, twists, whatever it may be. It’s so much easier for me to go to someone else and have them do my hair versus doing my own. So yes, if I can afford it I go and have someone else wash, detangle (but not too much cause that’s a fee), blow out, and braid my hair. It’s more expensive so it’s not an easy option, but when it’s available to me it’s the best option. 4. Headband wigs are heaven-sent. There are so many different types of wigs. U-part, half wigs, frontals, the list goes on. Headband wigs are picking up steam and I’m so thankful. I don’t always have the money to get full closure or frontal wigs and sew-ins, and trying to find a hair texture that matches mine is hard. Not to mention I live in Florida, so my hair reverts almost instantly when blown out or straightened. If you can slick back your front edges or at least pin them enough, you can slap on a headband wig and not have to worry about blending as much as you usually would with other wig types. It’s a quick fix, especially if you don’t want to untwist or unbraid your hair too soon. These four hacks have helped me co-manage my natural hair and ADHD. It’s still hard, and I still fall off sometimes, but it’s not as bad as it has been in the past. Usually in life, I embrace a no-structure structured approach , but unless I want natural dread locs, that’s just not an option. As I always say, follow your strengths. Pay attention to how you work best, and follow your own lead. That’s the only way I make my hair work, and hopefully you can do the same.

    What Real Disability Inclusion Looks Like in Fashion Marketing

    Some brands are lying about their inclusion when in fact they are exploiting us for their own greed. Brands are NOT inclusive if they are just throwing freebies at you but not posting your bodies on their main social media pages.They are gaining sales and followers from your advertisement and that’s why they do it. It’s evident they are afraid to show our “real” bodies. Brands are NOT inclusive if you have to have a minimum number of followers to be featured on their site or social media. This again creates more sales to benefit them. Having real people is what should matter to them. Brands are NOT inclusive if they just focus on one disability, for example, only using those in wheelchairs or those with stomas.They should be doing their research and use their following to gather more representation. Brands are NOT inclusive if they don’t think about the vulnerability of others. They should be supportive rather than seeing someone as just a number. More needs to be done by these brands who have the power to create change by paving the way and breaking the mold. True representation is needed to help those struggling with body confidence and to break down beauty standards for our future generations. One perfect body does NOT exist, because we are all perfect in our own unique way.

    Community Voices

    Little wins

    <p>Little wins</p>
    1 person is talking about this
    Kris McElroy

    JCPenney Unveils Thereabouts, an Adaptive Kids' Clothing Line

    On July 15, 2021, JCPenney released Thereabouts Kids’ Clothing, their new inclusive, trendy, adaptive kids’ brand designed with every kid in mind. As the back-to-school season is among us, this new private brand offers fun, stylish, and relevant looks for all kids so they can feel empowered, confident, and express themselves whether they’re at home, attending school, or socializing. With its size range, style choices, and range of adaptive features, this new inclusive line truly celebrates every kid through the diversity of shapes, sizes, styles and abilities. When getting the news, I was skeptical. Other brands advertise themselves to be trendy, inclusive and adaptive — rarely all three combined. If all are combined, it’s very selective in size and the price is outside of my affordability. But, with the Thereabouts Kids’ Clothing line, I was pleasantly surprised. Advertising for the Thereabouts collections represents kids being kids that make the world go round — the core of what the brand is all about. Every style bolds the belief that “kids should be kids, that they should be able to learn, play, and discover freedom in the clothes they wear. Parents and caretakers should also have peace of mind when it comes to buying high-quality, long-lasting, inclusive kids’ clothing. Thereabouts is JCPenney’s way of helping kids and their guardians live life to the fullest in clothes they’ll love.” Here are 10 ways the Thereabouts Kids’ Clothing brand affirms the diversity of age, shape, style, size and abilities of kids: 1. As an adult with multiple disabilities, I remember how much I dreamed of having access to clothing that met my needs and made me feel confident when I was a kid. Thereabouts Kids’ Clothing brand meets this dream. 2. As a parent, I am excited about my child growing up with access to this clothing line. As a parent with multiple disabilities, the adaptive line offers clothing options that can help me assist my daughter with independence. 3. It is a clothing line that challenges the history and stereotype that size-inclusive and adaptive clothing is not stylish. 4. Through using high-quality, sustainable materials, the wear and tear threshold is high, which makes it economically friendly in terms of price and longevity (which is perfect for a family like mine which has a lot of clothing that gets passed down and passed around). 5. Size range inclusivity is present through offering a variety of styles and adaptive features within all sizes including toddler sizes from 2T to 5T, little kid sizes from 4 to 7, and big kid sizes from 7 to 22. This supports the Thereabouts vision that states its collection is “designed for every kid – no matter their size, shape, gender, or abilities. No matter how big or small your child is, Thereabouts will be there with the perfect size as they grow up, with bright and colorful clothing that matches their own expressive personality.” 6. Sensory-friendly options that help minimize discomfort are provided by including clothes that are tagless and have flat seams. This makes a huge difference for an autistic person like me who has struggled to find comfortable clothing that meets my sensory needs in the style and size I seek. 7. Pull-on loops along with hook and loop leg openings are a game-changer for supported and independent dressing allowing for more functionality, ease, and comfortable fit. As a person with limited dexterity, muscle weakness and spasticity, this would have changed my world as a kid. Now, these options can help me support my daughter’s dressing routine easier as a parent. 8. Clothing options that include a hidden access opening for medical devices or for situations where ease of access with privacy is needed. This option also has the opportunity to increase confidence and comfort across different settings. 9. Marketing ads include a diverse representation of kids. 10. The styles, sizes and adaptive features are designed to meet the various needs of kids under one inclusive line, rather than separating them. I’m excited to see how people respond to the JCPenney Thereabouts private brand. My partner and I have already talked multiple times in the past two days about how much it would have made a difference in our lives when we were growing up, the impact it could have had on her students; and what an awesome line that’s now available to kids, including ours. I hope to see this collection grow. I also hope it inspires other clothing lines to make clothing to celebrate all children and adults so that a sense of confidence, empowerment, and self-expression can always be accessed through their style and clothing options.

    Kelly Douglas

    Savage x Fenty Campaign Reminds Us Not to Tokenize Disability

    Rihanna is known for including models of all genders, skin tones and body types in ad campaigns for her Fenty brand and has even hired models with disabilities for the Savage x Fenty fashion show Now she’s hired a model with limb differences whose photos have been widely circulating in the media. Fenty model Lyric Mariah Heard has amniotic band syndrome, which occurs when the bands that protect fetuses as they develop wrap around the limbs. Heard has only three fully developed fingers and wears a prosthetic leg, and her hands are on full display in the latest Fenty promotional photos, in which she poses confidently, hand-on-hip. Heard’s appearance as a Fenty lingerie model is a representation win, not just for those living with amniotic band syndrome but also for anyone with conditions affecting their hands.  Seeing Lyric confidently strike a pose with her limb differences in clear view could help people with disabilities like arthrogryposis or cerebral palsy who may feel self-conscious about their hands finally see themselves as beautiful and worthy of media representation. But while Heard can certainly resonate with people with disabilities, her solo presence in the photos (and the media buzz surrounding Rihanna’s decision to hire her specifically) could ultimately tokenize her disability. Her rising popularity as “Fenty’s limb-different model” comes at a potentially dangerous cost — being seen almost exclusively as a model with limb differences instead of just another model. Although there are times when emphasizing disability is extremely important, people with disabilities who face tokenism may struggle to balance their disability identities with the other ways they identify. Disability tokenism also wrongly suggests that disability is one-dimensional and that people who are publicly disabled or advocate for the disability community only care about disability issues when the reality is that there’s so much more to a disabled life than disability. If Heard ever opts to downplay her disability identity or bring other identities to the forefront, it could be especially difficult to do because her reputation as a model with a disability now precedes her. Fenty’s decision to hire Heard for their latest campaign makes the model — and her disability — stand out, but in order to normalize disability in the modeling world, they need to continue hiring disabled models and including them naturally alongside able-bodied ones. Hiring disabled models for a campaign is an excellent gateway to better disability representation, but to consumers who rely on buzzy headlines instead of fully researching the brand’s history, it may appear to be a decision to include a “bare minimum” level of ability diversity. While Heard’s presence in this campaign is necessary and a vast improvement over similar ads that don’t feature disabled or limb different models, it’s just one necessary step towards a much larger overall goal — to include models of all abilities in photoshoots and advertisements as often and seamlessly as possible. Lyric Mariah Heard’s inclusion in promotional materials for Rihanna’s Fenty line is groundbreaking for people with limb differences and disabilities affecting their hands, but it shouldn’t be regarded as an “end point” for disability representation.  People who’ve felt self-conscious about their hands and legs are finally seeing them normalized in the media, but the buzz surrounding just one of Fenty’s disabled models could tokenize her.  Fenty remains a step ahead of many other brands in terms of disability inclusion, and they should continue on that trajectory — the modeling world doesn’t typically prioritize disabled models, and the disability community deserves more.

    Dani Birzer

    Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Features Model With Limb Differences

    Singer and actress Rihanna launched a lingerie brand, Savage x Fenty in 2018, and part of her mission was representation. Most recently she hired model Lyric Mariah Heard who has limb differences in order to feature some of her lingerie — a move well received by abled and disabled individuals alike. Mariah was born with a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome where the bands supporting and protecting the fetus wrap around limbs and organs, causing them to lose blood flow to the bound areas. Heard now models with her prosthetic leg and three fully developed fingers on her left hand. Her first modeling gig was a breast cancer awareness project through her high school, and now she models for brands such as Dolls Kill, Love, Vera and Savage x Fenty. Upon the release of photos with her modeling Savage x Fenty, Heard posted a screengrab from Dazed magazine on Instagram.   View this post on Instagram  A post shared by Lyric Mariah (@phenixsoul) Heard said her ideal modeling scenarios always involve lingerie, telling Health magazine, “Lingerie is beautiful when it fits you right and hugs your body. It makes you look at yourself and be like ‘wow, that is all me.’ It makes me feel a new level of confidence and show my body in full everything — stretch marks, cellulite, surgery scars, here it is. I love all of it and I try to put that forth in my lingerie photos. I’m not selling sex, I’m selling confidence.” Representation of disabled individuals in the fashion industry has had a rocky road to travel and has not always been well-received. Ableism is oftentimes glorified by designers and seldom are brands taken to account about their choices. This ought to be shocking to everyone, considering that over 25% of the American population or 61 million adults have a disability today. Thirteen percent of that number have a mobility disorder. With the upswing in popularity of the body positivity movement or #bopo in the early 2000s, it comes as little surprise that disabled bodies were often taken out of the imagery and remained uncelebrated. However, between 2017 and today, several disabled models have walked the runway of brands like Formation, Nordstrom, Chaos, Gucci, Savage X Fenty and many more. Along with this new wave of representation has come accessible fashion for individuals in wheelchairs or those who rely on other mobility devices from brands like UGG, American Eagle, Target and others. This push can’t start and end with representation. Companies and brands should utilize this movement and put it into practice by hiring individuals with disabilities into roles where they have a seat at the table and can shed light on topics others don’t understand. To my fellow disabled peers, this is your moment. If you have a dream to see yourself in a public, popular setting, don’t let anyone close the door in your face. Your story and voice need to be heard. We deserve our place at the table alongside everyone else, regardless of how we get around, how we think or how we move. Author and social activist bell hooks said it best, “Representation is a crucial location of struggle for any exploited and oppressed people asserting subjectivity and decolonization of the mind.” Once we claim our place, call attention to our needs and challenge the ableist structures that hold us back, nothing can stop us. We have to keep moving forward and allow our needs to be seen and heard.

    Tracy Lee Allard

    Applying a Disability Accessibility Lens to Fashion

    I think most people’s introduction to fashion in beauty standards tends to be the dolls we looked at as children. Dolls have historically not reflected the true beauty of empowerment and individuality. What is beauty and how have we strayed from it? Traditionally, beauty was often supposed to be representative of authenticity. Original artists in cultures around the world often created statues where you can see visible body rolls, stretch marks and cellulite. Artists from the Renaissance period of history would try to use art to capture authentic likenesses and feelings of the people around them, sometimes even receiving backlash from those that commissioned them for being “too accurate.” We often code truth and authenticity with realism in the subject of art. The change in our beauty standards from truth and realism to harmful misrepresentation of weight, skin tone, ability, scars, physical features, age, and gender norms come from displays of wealth in art. However, most people didn’t and still don’t have access to wealth. According to Google Arts and Culture,  “It is not difficult to find displays of wealth in art, since art has aesthetic value only, it was not normally afforded by the poor. Wealthy or powerful people patroned the arts, and in turn the subjects within the art were often wealthy.” So how does wealth affect modern fashion and body standards? Well according to the Atlantic article Fashion’s Racism and Classism Are Finally Out of Style by Amanda Mull, if we changed the fashion industry, “It would be a world in which you don’t need generational wealth to get your ideas heard. It would be a world in which European fashion conglomerates no longer have a stranglehold on the goods or images the industry creates, or on the revenue it generates. It would be a world in which more people share power, and in which that power isn’t tied to the hoarding of wealth and resources.” So let’s apply the hoarding of power, wealth and resources to a disabled worldview. For disabled people to be truly accommodated in beauty standards, I believe a few things would have to happen. 1. A shift from the love of wealth to love and empowerment of self. What does this mean? This means promoting and highlighting what is unique about us as people as a positive thing. Our bodies are not made to be vessels of sexualization and oppression. They are meant to house our organs, give us energy, protect us from cancer-causing sunlight, and be biological houses for us to live in. We need to celebrate things about us that are us, including finding unique ways to really celebrate the diversity of our bodies. Including making more adaptive clothing for people with Down syndrome and autism.  Sometimes celebrating our bodies means understanding that disabled bodies can come with unique needs, and that is OK. 2. Understanding creative ways to work with what we have. Disabled fashion needs to accommodate and promote self-love for all skin tones, genders and weights, as all kinds of disabled people are beautiful! Disabled fashion culture is often created by disabled people and their families themselves rather than large corporations. This means that the disabled fashion industry can uniquely promote disabled designers as bosses and workers in their own small businesses, which in turn promotes whole community accessibility. 3. Thinking about the messages we are sending. Industry leaders need to start looking towards respecting cultural boundaries and away from cultural appropriation in fashion. This includes promoting multicultural positive imagery so children can grow up seeing themselves and each other as beautiful, and grow into adults who respect each other, encourage people from varying perspectives to collaborate and lead, and understand their own self-worth. Promoting positivity in media, fashion, and the world as a whole has never been more crucial, especially as our world youth are imploring us to be more inclusive cross-culturally and provide accessibility. Thank you for reading and hopefully thinking about how we can work on respectful fashion and beauty standards.