FIVE stunning women have come together on a photo-shoot to prove disability should never be an obstacle to becoming a model.
Angelica, Fran, Carla, Dominique, and Ellie are all stars of another unique impact campaign by Models of Diversity for Swimsuits For All and New Look, in showing that no matter how you look you can fulfill your dreams.
So what’s stopping the fashion, beauty and media industries employing models with disabilities to engage with what the DWP estimates as 11.6 million disabled people in Great Britain?
Angel Sinclair, founder of MoD, says: “We know from our surveys the public is in favour of more diversity, so our ambition is to change how the fashion industry thinks and responds to the needs of all the fashion-buying public.
“This campaign features so many beautiful women with wonderful personal stories. They all show drive and ambition.”
Model Angelica is a survivor of bowel cancer and has a colostomy bag as a result. A plus size model, she has also made a stand against body shaming and is a regular with Models of Diversity.
A difficult premature birth left Fran with cerebral palsy, but undeterred she swam competitively from 14 until an injury forced an end seven years later.
Fran says: “I model to inspire others with disabilities.”
For model Carla her burn scars and the loss of her left hand were the result of a fire in her cot at seven months old.
Carla suffered with her confidence, but over time and becoming a mum of three her confidence has grown, and she now feels her experiences as a burn victim has even brought out the best in her.
The same feeling is echoed by Ellie, who has Incontinentia Pigmenti, a condition with a number of presentations: scarring, tooth loss, pain and mobility issues, particularly limbs in Ellie’s case.
School was incredibly tough for her, but now, with support from friends and family, she is studying hair and make up alongside her modelling.
For Dominique, 17, her disabilities are not so noticeable for she has autism, learning difficulties and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome that’s led to sight and hearing problems.
But Dominique works hard, has tremendous tenacity and the most cheerful and kind nature.
Modelling for her was a way of showing herself how beautiful she is, as for years she has believed herself to be ugly and been severely bullied for her disabilities by her peers.
With the death this week of Stephen Hawking, who always showed that a disability never got in the way of ambition, Models of Diversity hope people sit up and take notice and prove we can all reach for the stars.