It is believed by many, that a person’s wardrobe is a gateway into revealing what type of personality or mood she/he has. Donna Karen said it elegantly when she stated, “Today, fashion is really about sensuality; how a woman feels on the inside.” With fashion week’s kickoff in New York last month, it is fit that we talk about fashion in my life as a blind individual. Through fashion, people can express themselves in many different styles; whether it is the conservative, professional/business, formal, casual, sporty, and as Toni puts it, “The grown and sexy” look.
My personal choice of style is the casual wear. I have a complete jean fetish, and can’t get enough of them. In addition, I love wearing hats; whether it is baseball caps, visors, or skullies. In fact, for a while in undergraduate, I think I was known as the hat girl. LOL. Whatever I may be wearing for the day, I can always count on Toni and my niece Imani to evaluate my outfit. I don’t have to see to sense Toni and Imani looking me up and down, as they give me feedback; my two fashion consultants. LOL.
Although I have lost my eyesight, my individual style has not changed. There is a misconception within society that blind/visually impaired individuals are not interested in fashion or care about their appearance. Blindness is not a determinant on whether or not a person is interested in fashion, but instead their individual preference.
After being blind for almost eight years, I came to the conclusion that there should be a discussion around how to make the stores and malls more accessible to blind/visually impaired individuals. Accessibility gives way for everyone to have the same opportunity to express their own style. Such accessibility could include Braille labels and paying special attention to the arrangement of the items. In a lot of instances, finding items in stores can be quite difficult because everything is spread out, and not in a specific sequence. Whenever I go shopping, my mom, Toni, or friends assist me in picking out clothes by telling me the colors, sizes, and prices. I assess whether or not I like the clothing by their descriptions and touch.
All in all, the over arching fact is that we need to be more inclusive of everyone in all facets of life; whether it is fashion, sports, technology, etc. Physical ability is not a characteristic and does not define a person, but instead is a mere circumstance. So, let’s all be beautifully blind by helping get rid of the divisiveness in our society and creating awareness.