Disabled People Love Clothes Too

I have always believed that fashion is the window to the soul. As a Black disabled woman with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects movement on the right side of my body, I have gone through what I call the stages of fashion grief. First, there was denial, which led to pretending fashion did not matter to me. Anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance came when I realized that I was no longer going to deny myself the things that allowed me the opportunity to share myself with the world. Especially when I realized just how much fashion was a part of my story. In “The Pretty One,” my collection of essays published last year, I talk about my journey to see my self-worth and how it led to my Twitter hashtag #disabledandcute, used by like-minded people to share pictures of ourselves and to declare that we are just as cute and worthy as anyone else. I am not alone in my love for fashion. Disabled people, including the fashion plates among us, have always had to make wardrobe hacks to navigate features like zippers, buttons, shoes and irritable fabric tags. Stylish clothing for disabled people goes by many names: Accessible fashion, functional fashion, universal and inclusive fashion. I use accessible and inclusive fashion interchangeably and sometimes together because they best fit what I believe fashion should be after, not just function but style, too. Read more at The New York Times.