I am still buzzing from opening London Fashion Week on Friday. To be embraced, celebrated and recognised for whom you are in your profession as model, being your true self is the best feeling in the world.
I am not perfect, but who is? We may all want to be taller, slimmer, younger, and prettier but I am a model, perfect in my imperfections and the world of fashion is including my imperfection.
This is about humanity, the diverse world we live in, inclusivity, acceptance, equality, individuality, uniqueness, courage, strength, body confidence, making a positive difference and breaking barriers.
Cat and Rob, the designers at Teatum Jones are leading the way to a more diverse, inclusive and beautiful industry. I feel super honoured to have modelled their gorgeous collection and be part of this much needed change - it is a fashion revolution!
The show's soundtrack was full of empowering body positive quotes such as
'Your body is not an apology'
'We are perfect because of our imperfections'
'This body wasn't made to meet your definition of desirable'.
Girl power! I felt so fierce stomping to this track. I want to do it all over again and then some.
I remember eight years ago; a model said 'New York Fashion Week would rather burn down then see a disabled person on their runway'. I want to know what is so shocking about disability. This is saying disability can't be beautiful, fashionable and is not worthy.
Disability needs to be part of the diversity agenda. We need to come together and represent the whole of the human race.
Disabled people enjoy clothes as much as any other human being. Disabled people are fashionable too. From a pair of high shoes, a tight fitted dress, a pop of bright coloured lipstick - to a designer handbag - fashion and beauty makes us feel good. When you feel good, you look good. Confidence is everything and we could all do with an extra boost of confidence. Fashion and beauty really is for every BODY.
Having a physical disability is so visible, yet disabled people are the most invisible section of society. This just makes me even more determined in my work to make disability visible in the most positive and empowering way.
There are 12 million disabled people in the UK. The spending power of disabled people is the largest untapped market. UK businesses lose out on £212bn a year due to not marketing to their disabled customers. There is so much power in the 'purple pound'
Disabled people are powerful. The word disabled does not give that impression. The word is so disabling and dated. Disabled people are not disabled by their impairment, but by the barriers created by society and the lack of opportunities.
With body confidence at an all-time low for able bodied people, how about disabled people?
This is exactly why disability needs to be represented in fashion, beauty, and in the media. It is absolutely deserving of a place and will make such a positive difference to so many lives.
Disability is nothing to be fearful of and it makes good business sense.
In 2017, I would like to see more fashion and beauty brands using disabled models. Empowering disabled people for what they are: strong, determined, creative, beautiful and fashionable.
This February, HuffPost UK Style is running a month-long focus on our Fashion For All campaign, which aims to highlight moments of colour, size, gender and age diversity and disability inclusivity in the fashion and beauty world.
We will be sharing moments of diversity at London Fashion Week with the hashtag #LFW4All and we'd like to invite you to do the same. If you'd like to blog about diversity or get involved, email us here.