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(Re)Designing the Disability: A Matter of Confidence, Power and Self- Love

14 Sep 2017

Self-love is a difficult concept to achieve for many of us.  That is, truly loving oneself (we can easily be fooled or pretend to ourselves).  Then again, we can ask ourselves, what actually is self-love?  Is there a definitive definition of the phrase? It takes a great deal of honesty and courage within ourselves to be able to accept and fully appreciate the beauty, both inner and outer, that we are blessed with.  


It may be fair to say that we find it easier to acknowledge the beauty in others.  Instagram is definitely a rather convenient vessel in which we can express our admiration.  However, it can be all too easy to be caught in a mind-set of self-doubt.  The seemingly harmless act of comparing ourselves with others can make it that bit more difficult to fully realise our own merit.  So perhaps the all-important ‘temps de l’amour propre’ is much needed.  


Fashion can be a great way to express ourselves.  Indeed, the fashion industry is one of the high flying influencers of modern society with its plentiful financial turnover and ever constant presence in daily life.  It has the power to give us that delicious sense of creativity and confidence, whether it be through curating an outfit, designing garments, shopping (of course), sourcing inspirations, etc.  


Designing is one of the fundamental elements of fashion.  It is, however, a rather competitive branch, much alike most things these days, and having the confidence and drive to achieve in such sectors is an applaudable quality.  Granted, the fashion industry is a treasure trove of potential, not only for creativeness, but for a plethora of other such originalities.  


However, the fashion industry is susceptible to allowing itself to have, and perhaps unjustly, perceptions of certain individuals.  Of course, the news and social media is constantly reporting the prejudice on size, race and LGBTQ communities but what about its perceptions of other ‘such’ groups which are less heralded?  


‘Disability’ is a term usually associated with having a physical disability despite it being on a much broader spectrum than that.  The ambiguity behind the word lends itself to certain misconceptions.  A disability could be described as an impairment, not just in the physical sense, but in cognitive, developmental, mental, sensory or any of these combined, meaning that disabilities might be more common than we would’ve initially thought.  


At present, there doesn’t appear to be much awareness in the talent of designers with disabilities.  Whilst times are changing and we’re seeing a rise in diversity throughout the fashion industry, promoting and recognizing the excellence and power of less represented individuals is seemingly due.  It appears that people with disabilities are still being perceived as less equal than those without; a huge misconception is that people are limited by their disabilities instead of the world which limits them because of the stereotypes and perceptions.  Everyone is open to enjoying fashion.  


Preach the power of self-love. 


About the Author:


Keri Clark is a student at De Monfort University with a strong passion for writing and is an avid supporter of The I Love Me Project! 


To read more of her captivating work, check our her website:






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