May’s Disability Topic of the Month by Toni-Marie

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4th May 2021
Fashion & beauty

TMB! Lipstick! Perfume! And an Opinion!

Topic of the Month: Fashion & Beauty

Hello Readers! My name is Toni-Marie. I will tell you just a little bit about my disability as I feel it is relevant. I have cerebral palsy quadriplegia and scoliosis of the spine. I have been disabled since birth.

I absolutely love everything about fashion! The fabrics, the colours, the trends and learning all about the fashion industry. For me confidence is the key to wearing clothes well!

Designer labels or not, in order to feel that I look good, I have to feel good! I would like to be in a position to be able to afford designer labels that could perhaps be changed slightly to reflect the general clothing needs of people with disabilities. There is a definite need for adaptive clothing from specific websites who specialise in providing garments for disabled people – however, I have only ever bought a special Rain Mac designed to go over me and my wheelchair. In my opinion whilst all adaptive clothing is functional, it is my experience that none of it is on trend, stylish, classy, sexy, glitzy or glamorous! (I would be only too happy to be proved wrong though!) Of course, those with disabilities would also like the opportunity to feel all of these different things! Sadly, it seems that disability and sexy never go together…it is therefore up to people with disabilities to create this for themselves.

Clothes

So, here are my top fashion tips…

1. Everyone has parts of their body that they dislike more than any other part. This is certainly not a feeling that is unique to those with disabilities. We cannot change our bodies – but we can change the way we feel about them. This is something that has definitely got easier for me with age. Confidence is something that we all have to work on continuously in order to live our best lives and be the best version of ourselves – for ourselves.

2. When looking for clothes if you find and fall in love with a particular style then you are more likely to wear it with confidence. There is absolutely no point in wearing something that makes you feel completely self conscious even if it is the latest trend. People are more likely to be drawn to someone who carries themselves with confidence.

3. People with disabilities don’t have to always be wearing tracksuits unless of course they want to. The truth is we can and should be able to look beyond leisurewear. There are other alternatives such as combat trousers, maternity trousers, jeans with extra stretch, wide leg trousers, yoga pants or soft fabrics such a velour. Make it a rule to sometimes choose clothes that you wouldn’t ordinarily pick out for yourself – you may just be surprised by the outcome!

4. If you are physically limited as to what you are able to wear due to your disability then you can still accessorise your outfits really well. This will enable you to keep up-to-date with the latest trends should you wish.

5. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to look great! Try to stick to a budget that you can afford – and where possible ask for clothes/products for birthdays/Christmas.

6. If I find a style, fabric or item that I love then I may buy the same item in two different colours.

Lady in scarf

And my top beauty tips…

1. Drink water!

2. Make sure you know your skin combination. 

3. I don’t use soap on my face – just warm water. Then I cleanse and tone every other day.

4. Use a moisturiser for your face/body every day.

5. Nowadays I buy just one item of a more expensive make up brand at a time, as opposed to several cheaper ones.

6. Always use creams with a good SPF.

Beauty

To help empower people with disabilities to create the opportunity for us to become confident consumers, I also recommend using the new app, WelcomeMe by Neatebox.

This revolutionary app is being rolled out across the UK later this year, at present it is being used in Edinburgh. I think this is the customer service app of the future for those with disabilities. It will help disabled people themselves to be able to access all manner of different facilities in a way that suits their particular needs. I would encourage anyone to use this app. The more demand there is for it from disabled people themselves – then the more potential it has to both empower and facilitate for people with disabilities  – and in turn it will then grow to be very successful.

I think the possibilities for creating massive positive strides towards complete inclusion within our society for those with disabilities are endless. Neatbox is instrumental in helping us to get there. Here is a video to tell you more…

 

Perfume bottle

Let’s hope that it is not too long before we are able to go out and about again. To fully participate in a bit of retail therapy with the help of Revitalise!

 

Always see your ability in disability.

Thanks for reading!

Toni-Marie

Toni-Marie


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