So often when we turn to talks of representation, one group is excluded: disabled folks.
We’re constantly preaching about inclusion and body positivity and yet we continue to ignore the 61M disabled adults in this county.
And even when the media tries to offer “representation,” they often get it wrong. Think of Sia’s film Music, which offensively stereotyped people on the spectrum.
Poor attempts at representation often exclude disabled people from their own narrative — TV and movie characters are played by abled actors (i.e. Shawn on The Good Doctor, Garrett in Superstore) and are written by abled writers.
So it’s time we take it upon ourselves to seek out disabled folks — to learn from them, to normalize their bodies, and to advocate for them.
Below is a list of a few *awesome* disabled influencers. This list is just a starting point — there are so many incredible people out there and one list cannot possibly contain them all.
1. Alex Dacy
Who: Fashionista, sex kitten, and advocate helping to normalize disabled bodies
2. Lauren ‘Lolo’ Spencer
Who: Actress, model, and public speaker determined to combat ableist narratives of disabled people
3. Sinéad Burke
Who: Author, fashionista, former teacher, and advocate for inclusivity in fashion
4. Chella Man
Who: Deaf, trans, genderqueer author, artist, actor, and model
5. Alyssa Higgins
Who: Blogger (and mom-to-be!) who shares the ups and downs of her life in a wheelchair
6. Aaron Philip
Who: Trans model who also raises awareness of how you can specifically help trans folks in need
7. Madison Lawson
Who: Writer, fashionista, and podcaster advocating for disability representation
8. Clara Holmes
Who: Model and lifestyle content creator
9. Shane Burcaw
Who: Author, vlogger, and public speaker, who, along with his able-bodied wife, helps to educate the public about disabled people and their lives
10. Jaleesa Graham
Who: Model and YouTuber
11. Shaylee Mansfield
Who: Deaf actress, dancer, and advocate
Who: Autistic writer helping to set the record straight about what it’s really like to be on the spectrum
READ THIS NEXT
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.