Bridal Shop Praised for Wheelchair in Window Display
In a celebratory moment for inclusivity, a woman in the U.K. recently noticed and shared something she's never seen before in a store window: a mannequin modeling a bridal gown, posed in a decorated wheelchair.
The display was spotted by Beth Wilson, 36, who is disabled herself. Wilson saw the model in Portishead, Bristol and shared a photo of it on her Twitter so people all over the world could also see and celebrate the rare moment of disability inclusivity in fashion.
The new wedding shop in town has a wheelchair using mannequin and it shouldn’t be exciting but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen disability portrayed in a shop window. pic.twitter.com/N5sco2fLJf— Beth Wilson (@doodlebeth) January 9, 2019
"This is the first time I’ve seen a wheelchair in a shop window like this (mobility shops not included) and it was so surprising to see and made me feel represented," Wilson says. "So often disabled people feel invisible because we don’t see ourselves in the media much, and especially not modeling beautiful clothes. The reaction on Twitter has shown that it means a lot to other people, too."
The mannequin is in the window at The White Collection, a bridal boutique in Portishead. Wilson praised the shop for not just including a mannequin in a wheelchair in its display, but for decorating the chair with green vines. "Mobility aids are often portrayed as negative things that people want to hide when actual mobility aids like wheelchairs give us freedom," Wilson says. "It’s great that the decorated the chair rather than try and hide it away."
While this bridal boutique isn't the first to feature a mannequin using a mobility device like a wheelchair (a JC Penny in New York City had a display including a wheelchair in 2014), as Wilson points out, this sort of inclusivity is exceedingly rare. And if the reaction to her original tweet is any indication, it's something a lot of people would readily welcome and celebrate.
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