We live in a society that structures and designs most institutions – including fashion – around able-bodied people. This means that folks with bodies that look, act and feel different get left behind when it comes to the world of beauty.
Fashion and beauty are part of an individual expression. How we dress acts like an extension of ourselves; a way of introducing ourselves to the world. For people with disabilities, that range of expression is unfairly limited by a lack of options. There is also a problem with fashion and beauty companies only representing a beauty standard that erases disabled bodies.
[bctt tweet=”For people with disabilities, the range of expression via fashion is unfairly limited by a lack of clothing options. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
While the fashion and beauty industries are doing slightly better at the representation of disabled bodies, there is still a long way to go. On Instagram, though, many advocates of disability rights and representation thrive. Here are six influencers you absolutely need to follow.
1. Kaitlyn Dobrow
Kaitlyn is a beauty vlogger, Instagrammer and disability rights advocate. She had all four of her limbs amputated when she was 19, after being treated for bacterial meningitis. Her videos explore life as a disabled person. They are often funny, sweet and engaging. Her Instagram account documents her being the badass that she is.
Follow her on @kaitlyndobrow
2. Lucy Edwards
Lucy is a beauty blogger who is active on both Instagram and Youtube. Her blog posts often deal with navigating the world as a blind person. She is also a freelance reporter and an activist, who uses her social media platforms to raise awareness for disabled people including amazing makeup tutorials. Oh, and she recently partnered with COVERGIRL!
You can see her being awesome on @lucyedwardsofficial
3. Marimar Quiroa
Marimar is a Latina beauty blogger and Youtube, who is only 23 years old and cooler than most of us. She has cystic hygroma (a facial tumor) and her content is accessible by deaf and hard of hearing people as she uses both sign language and subtitles in her videos. She is a fierce advocate of self-love.
You can see her being beautiful every day on @makeupartistgorda66.
4. Cailey Darling
Cailey is a queen. She is a beauty and fashion blogger who describes herself as a “disabled babe” and that’s…pretty damn accurate. A plus size, blind model diagnosed with Acute Macular Neuroretinopathy, she posts about life in a disabled person’s body and advocates for empathy, understanding, and self-love. She never lets the trolls win.
You can see her being fierce on @caileydarling
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Remind your local fat babe that their VBO is rockin’. Remember that your worth and your place in this world is not dictated by how fabric lays over your skin. Visible belly outlines are babely and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. I’ll personally sit on anyone who tries to put anyone else down because of their bellies. Styled by @diaandco Jacket&Jeans from my Dia Box! Jeans are @rwnbyrawan Shirt: @simplybeusa Bra: @playfulpromises #vbo #visiblyplussize #visiblyplus #alternativecurves #whatfatgirlsactuallywear #wewearwhatwewant #hairspo #fatspo #fatbabe #plussizefashion #diaandco #stylehasnosize #plusblogger #plussizebabe #disabledandcute #fatgirlsrock #altfashion #psootd
5. Tae Mackenzie
Tae is a model, actress, and activist who has been on the runway for New York Fashion Week! She has a rare form of epilepsy that causes strokes and uses a wheelchair. Her posts are incredible and she advocates for love and respect for all bodies.
You can follow her @tae_mackenzie.
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Happy Friday!! Starting the weekend off right!!@tommyhilfiger #TommyAdaptive ?: @simplyinglish • • • • • #happyfriday #goodmorning #ootd #outfitoftheday #modeling #model #beauty #wheelchairbeauty #fashionblogger #rollingforchange #diversity #disability #stylist #rollingtomakeadifference #imgmodels #willyscouts @christiebrinkley #tier1modelmanagement #scoutmechadwick @cur8able #dreams @nischelleturner @iamrobireed @oprah #heels @silverliningentertainmentllc @krisjenner #nymmscoutingtour #valiantbeauty #fashion #slay #disabled #amazing @fashionnova #novababe @target @marjorie_harvey @theashleygraham @kmrtalent @michellevicaryhc @gqcasting @ldbcasting @willpowerpacker @nyfw #nyfw #inspiration @people @kimobility @iamdebbiem @cameronsilver #fashionblogger
Lolo advocates for more understanding and choices for people with disabilities as a vlogger and beauty influencer. Diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), she speaks about her experience with doctors and medical professionals in powerful and humorous ways.
Follow her on @itslololove
Fashion and beauty can be a powerful way for people to claim their agency over their bodies and drive home the point that all bodies are desirable and beautiful.
[bctt tweet=”Fashion and beauty can be a powerful way for people to claim their agency over their bodies and drive home the point that all bodies are desirable and beautiful.” username=”wearethetempest”]
These bloggers with disabilities are fierce and powerful and their popularity is an illustration of how representation is needed and wanted in the media we consume.