What effect does exclusion in the fashion industry really have?
Hey legends - it’s Jason Clymo again!
I’m back to give you your dose of anti-ableism, and explore the real ramifications that exclusion in the fashion industry has for people with disability.
This blog series has seriously got me feeling like I’m the next Gossip Girl!
“Your one and only source into inclusive fashion.”
Only problem is that I’ve already told you all who I am…
Anyway, back on topic. I’ve already explained why representation should happen and why it’s important. But what does exclusion really do? Is it really THAT bad to not include people with disability in the fashion industry?
To put it simply, exclusion in the “fashion world” creates and perpetuates exclusion in the “real world”.
Think about it this way. At this point in time, most business owners, employers, University staff, healthcare providers and - possibly the most important - politicians don’t see people with disability represented throughout fashion, TV, film, media, etc. This consistent exclusion informs those people that people with disability don’t need to be represented, which results in an unconscious bias towards us. This unconscious bias (which is a form of ableism) then impacts every decision the person makes. This results in a disadvantage for people with disability when it comes to healthcare, employment, education, and so on.
It doesn’t end there though. Possibly the most frustrating and disturbing part of this whole shamozzle, is that “real world” exclusion also creates and perpetuates “fashion world” exclusion. Because people with disability are less likely to be employed and promoted in any of the aforementioned industries, there are less opportunities for us to make positive systemic changes within them. So, because people with disability are less likely to get creative roles at fashion labels or fashion magazines - we’re also less likely to be hired as models. The same applies for TV, film and media roles.
So a cycle of ableism and disadvantage is created… and perpetuated.
I don’t think I really need to explain the ramifications of being excluded in employment, education, healthcare and politics - but if you are interested in learning more, click here.
Okay, that’s my rant finished for today. I do hope some of you have learnt a bit about how this system of oppression works, and feel a bit more inspired to make some positive change. Next time I come to you, I’ll be chatting about the topic of how to be an ally.
Jason Clymo is a 25 year-old model and activist with disability. He is incredibly passionate about the representation of people with disability, and lends a knowledgeable and personal voice of reason to all that he does. Jason also blogs and creates social media content for business owners, as part of his own business - J2 Content Creation. You can follow Jason on Instagram here.