ELLEN BELLE MA, PT
In early December 2013 Zurich, Switzerland’s main downtown street, Bahnhofstrasse, held a special event in honor of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The usual mannequins in several store windows were replaced by mannequins modeled precisely from the bodies of individuals with disabilities. These mannequins were clothed with the latest fashions of the day. The purpose was to raise awareness of those with disabilities and to push for inclusivity of all body types, as the fashion world selects models for media and runway presentations.
Side Note – Nordstrom’s has made a concerted effort to include body diversity, including those with disabilities, in their ads since 1991. Also did you know you can buy two different sizes of shoes at Nordstrom’s for the price of one pair if you have mismatched foot sizes? The difference needs to be at least 1.5 sizes apart to qualify for this benefit.
The event spurred conversation about what is beautiful in a body and does a body need to be perfect to be beautiful. This is a conversation dear to many of us concerned about our outward appearance. This ranges from weight issues, wrinkles to the more difficult issues of those with disability. For the article and video about the production of the mannequins: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/disabled-mannequins-video_n_4379586.html I have not seen a dry eye yet after viewing this video. Take a moment and increase your own sensitivity to those with disabilities and celebrate that “all can be beautiful.”