Brazilian project “My body is real” promotes the visibilty of people with disabilities
Do you experience any difficulties when buying clothes?
This jacket is too big? Why don’t these trousers fit? To expensive? Or none?
The majority of people may not find it more difficult than this.
But the reality is not quite the same for everyone.
The project “My body is real”, created by fashion designer and image consultant Michele Simoes, aims to give visibility to people with disabilities. It claims for more inclusive and practical fashion.
Model: Letícia, 19, Public Relations Student.
After a car accident, Michele became paraplegic, which led to a new perspective on her body and her relationship with fashion. It was easy for her to find clothes for a tall and slim body… but after the accident, getting dressed and finding representation for bodies that are basically invisible in society, became a challenge.
Models: Ravelly Santana, 20, Journalism student – amoutation. Bruno Favoretto, 33, journalist – Spinal Cord Injury.
“I can’t express how happy I felt the day when, after many attempts, I managed to get dressed by myself. Something so common for the majority has such an impact in some the lives of some people. The physical access to shops, the customer service, the creation of functional fashion that includes the identity of these consumers, and representativity in the media, could be a good start for more inclusive fashion”, Michele said.
Another project by the same author, “Amor Fati”*, shows the sensuality of women with disabilities and breaks taboos about the subject.
“I felt and still feel embarrassed when I go to the gynaecologist because this is another area that is not prepared to deal with deficiency. I was once seen by a doctor (a woman) who was surprised that I could have children”, Michelle said.
Female fertility is a subject frequently mistreated, as many people believe that all disabled women can’t be mothers.
“We are frequently asked if we can be mothers. Why do people ask this straight away? It’s a huge subject, but generally, the sexuality of people with disabilities is erased. And we need to explore this. Our desire, belonging and even abuse need to become visible.”
Removing preconceptions through fashion, “Amor Fati”* uses underwear as an empowerment tool. Six women were photographer, with the aim to raise awareness and break the idea of fragility and infantilisation of people with disabilities.
Image credits: Michelle Simoes, Dário Matos, Marco A. de Ávila
Amor Fati: Love destiny (Latin)
Thanks to: Mariana Santo Alexandre for sharing the article with me
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