#ThisIsMyDisabledStyle is taking over Twitter, and it’s gorgeous

Head to your timeline, because people with disabilities are flaunting their personal style on Twitter, and it is fabulous. #ThisIsMyDisabledStyle features everything from color-coordinated canes to itty-bitty babies to bright and bold made-up faces.

It began with a tweet from Mexican diversity, disability, and inclusion advocate and activist Maryangel García-Ramos.

“I was looking at pictures of friends who happen to have disabilities, and thought I wanted to see more,” García-Ramos told the Daily Dot over email. “I wanted to see how everyone expresses themselves. Originally, I am a fashion designer, and I believe your personal style is an extension of your identity and part of the precise moment in the life journey you are on. And it evolves. Everyone has a style and it was the perfect opportunity to use Twitter to share our own stories.”

Her tweet quickly went viral, with many sharing photos that are bold, beautiful, and heartwarming.

https://twitter.com/852BAM/status/1115427522622119936

https://twitter.com/Amy_Claire_x/status/1115618988799688704

Some shared how their aids can also work as a matching accessory or a seamless, functioning part of their style.

García-Ramos, who also founded the Mexican Women With Disabilities Movement, says she’s excited by the responses.

“It is so powerful,” she says. “I believe there is nothing more intense than the power of the stories. It has been so natural because people do not have to identify as a certain adjective (which sometimes people do not feel ready or feel a bit of pressure). They are just organically presenting themselves and their own style, within their context in life now. And they are feeling good about it. Regaining their narratives and their power.”

Many used the hashtag to share that they rarely dress up and/or share their photos, highlighting the need for the visibility and representation of persons with disability in fashion.

Some say the conversation surrounding disability justice and fashion is finally happening but still needs to grow. A Twitter thread by a Guardian columnist last year brought some of these issues to light, such as difficulty in trying on clothing and not enough room to allow the caretaker in the dressing room, among other issues. García-Ramos agrees that fashion, like sex, is one of the more underrepresented elements in the disability justice discourse.

“The reason we do not do that it is because when it comes to fashion, we have little (although amazing) initiatives and representation of how a style could be or fashion should look like,” she says. “Most of the time, our bodies are different, our thinking is different, and we do not fit the square standards of what ‘fashion’ or ‘cool’ is.”

While she’s excited about being able to bring to the forefront so many narratives, she says the most positive surprise was “people having a journey looking for the pics to post.”

However, García-Ramos says there will always be work to be done in terms of dismantling misconceptions about people with disabilities.

“I think the biggest misconception of disability is the fact that there is just one disability story. That we all live the same thing. But we need to understand that there are tons of disability stories and constructions of oneself,” she says, adding that we can begin by listening to disabled people and letting them tell their own stories. “Empathy is key to actually achieving a change in the narratives of our mis- or under-representation. Some people might feel proud of their disability, others are in a different part of a journey. We can not assume or force everyone to self-love, as well as we can not assume everyone with a disability feels broken.”

Next up for García-Ramos: starting a similar thread in Spanish for her Mexican community.

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Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque