Fashion has always been based on labels: which labels are the trendiest at the moment, which ones are worth buying, and which ones are being worn by celebrities. But these labels aren’t just sewn into the hem of our newest slip skirt. Labels, on a deeper level, are what have also contributed to the homogeneity of the fashion industry. You see, these visual signifiers or societal labels determine who the industry deems valuable, and as a result, anti-blackness, fatphobia, transphobia, and other prejudices permeate every aspect of the industry. And while the industry is taking strides toward inclusive sizing and hiring more POC, ableism is still very much an issue that needs to be addressed.
Ableism is defined as when able-bodied individuals are viewed as “normal” or superior to those with a disability. This manifests in various forms of discrimination, from who gets hired for