September 01, 2021

We've been having a #HotDisabledSummer over on Instagram because we believe everybody is worthy of feeling hot. This is a part of our wider #HotInclusiveSummer bringing inclusivity to your timeline by featuring lesser-represented bodies in our lingerie and swimwear.

Because we want to uplift and amplify the voices of disabled people, we had a Q&A with some of the amazing people we collaborated with this past summer. Read on to learn about what disabled people want you to know and how you can help spread the #HotDisabledSummer word.


#HotDisabledSummer


Caprice wearing yellow lingerie and jeans with a mobility aid

Name: Caprice-Kwai 

Age: 20

 Location: London

 Job Title: Disabled Model and Jewellery Designer

 
 

 Can you tell me a little about your condition/disability and how it has impacted your life?

 
 

I have lived with a disability since the age of 10, which has shaped who I am today. I have problems relating to my legs, mainly with my left leg where I have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, Joint Hyper-mobility and Chronic Pain Syndrome. All of my conditions leave me feeling fatigued and in pain so I use crutches to mobilise, however my disability and difficulties do not define me – I have dreams, goals and aspirations.


Why were you so keen to get involved in the campaign?

 

When Playful Promises reached out, I loved everything about the campaign and what they were trying to achieve. The aim of the campaign is everything I stand for, and that’s why I was so keen to get involved - I feel it’s important for everyone to see themselves being represented.  We all deserve to feel beautiful in lingerie and to see different types of bodies, despite what society says.

 
 

Why do you think representation and inclusivity, particularly within lingerie campaigns, is so important?

 
 

I think it’s important for everyone to feel beautiful and worthy, to see someone else with scars, stretch marks or using a mobility aid. Seeing different types of bodies wearing lingerie, is so important because, different types of bodies are beautiful. 

 
 

Are there any myths or misconceptions about disability you would you like to clear up or set the record straight about?

 
 

I think the biggest misconception about disability is that we’re not capable of achieving amazing things. We’re just as capable as anyone else.

 
 

What has been the response of you taking part in the campaign?

 
 

The response has been so positive! Reading all of the comments on the post has made me feel even more confident within myself, and I’m grateful to Playful Promises for including me in the campaign.

 
 

What would you like to see change in terms of representation and inclusivity in the future?

 
 

I would love to see even more disabled people of different races, conditions/disabilities and sexualities etc in campaigns, just like this one! EveryBODY is beautiful and everyone should be able to see themselves being represented.  


Ashley is sitting on the floor wearing the Eddie Mint set with her arms up, one of her arms is a prosthetic

 

Name: Ashley Young

Location: Stratford, London 

Job Title: Full time mom, model, actress  

 

Can you tell me a little about your condition/disability and how it has impacted your life?

 

 I was born with a congenital limb difference where the lower part of my right arm stopped growing during fetal development. The cause of this is still uncertain but may be related to amniotic band syndrome. It has impacted my life through a lot of bullying and social judgement throughout my whole life. I also suffer from chronic pain on my left side as an adult from overuse.

 

 

Why were you so keen to get involved in the campaign?

 

 I think representation is incredibly important! I wanted to join this campaign because I never saw myself represented in any sort of media growing up. It's hard to relate to someone who doesn't look like you so it makes you feel quite alone in your condition. I don't want anyone to ever feel that way. 

 

 

Why do you think representation and inclusivity, particularly within lingerie campaigns, is so important?

 

A lot of the time disabled people are never associated with "sexy". But we are all still humans who are sexy and deserve to feel valued the same as able-bodied people. We are intimate with others and the stigma needs to end.    

What has been the response of you taking part in the campaign?

 

 People absolutely loved it! I've only received one negative comment. People were really excited to see themselves represented in lingerie.

 

 

What would you like to see change in terms of representation and inclusivity in the future?

 

 Just having us included and thought about first instead of just ticking a box. That would be really amazing and I'm excited for the future!

 

 

 

Georgia is wearing the Jayne black bikini while using a wheelchair

Name: Georgina Anne Wasdall

Age: 22

Location: Nottinghamshire

Job Title: Model/Actor

 

Can you tell me a little about your condition/disability and how it has impacted your life?

 

I have a chronic illness called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME or sometimes known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS) and I’m an ambulatory wheelchair user meaning that when I leave the house, I need my chair to get around otherwise I’d be housebound. My condition and disability has changed and impacted every single aspect of my life. I wasn’t born with my condition, it came into my life when I was 10 and I got my first wheelchair when I was 14. It took 3 years to get my diagnosis of ME as there is no tests for it, it’s simply a procedure of ruling everything else out by means of other tests. Well, not so much a simple procedure more as in a constant fight and battle for years trying to get doctors to listen, understand, care and actually do something about my health instead of just saying “its growing pains” or “she’s probably having problems with friends at school”. It’s still difficult now to find doctors who take chronic illnesses seriously, many still don’t understand them or even so far as to not believe them or the many life changing symptoms + side effects people with them experience. There is no treatment or cure to ME/CFS, this was difficult to accept. I went from being an A grade student and someone who was highly active as a dancer, swimmer, cyclist, to someone who began to struggle with everyday activities and couldn’t leave the house therefore unable to attend school. Subsequently, in year 9 I left school and went into doing just one 2 hour class a week of maths, English and science. I lost all of my friends and was incredibly alone with no direction, it had a major impact on my mental health. For so long I rejected the idea of using a wheelchair and then when I finally made the step to get my first one, I despised it because it made me feel like I was letting my condition control me when in fact it was the other way around. It was me taking back control of my own life so that I could start living again yet for many years I did not feel this way. I think that one of the main reasons why I didn’t accept my chair is because I didn’t see anybody like me in the media and whenever you did see a wheelchair or disability, more often that not it was/is depicted as something bad and plays a lot on typical stereotypes. It’s an empowering move getting a mobility aid and its about time it was shown in this light. Our mobility aids are our lifelines to the outside world, our freedom, our independence and a lot of us have a strong connection with our aids because they give us so much. I’m now trying to be the person I needed when I was a young pre-teen feeling lost and self conscious after the huge change of becoming a wheelchair user. I put myself out there to show that whether you are disabled or not it doesn’t matter. You are you. Unique and amazing as ever who deserve to be seen. You can still have a great life and be disabled. You can still be fashionable and be disabled. You can still follow your dreams and still be disabled. I’m now represented by a talent agency called Zebedee Talent who represent those with disabilities and differences and together, we are helping to change the industry to be more diverse. We call it the Inclusion Revolution working within the fashion, modelling and acting world. I am incredibly proud to be apart of it. This is exactly what we need to see more of in the next few years. I’m proud to be disabled and I will continue to speak up about inclusivity for all. I feel incredibly lucky to be living this life I do. Even with the challenges and difficulties I have face and continue to face with my condition, I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Why were you so keen to get involved in the campaign? / Why do you think representation and inclusivity, particularly within lingerie campaigns, is so important?

 

 

Media has always influenced people’s perceptions of “ideals in beauty” but this generation are breaking that mould showing that everybody is beautiful with the help of campaigns like Playful Promises Hot Disabled Summer. For so long I didn’t see people like me represented especially within the fashion and lingerie world yet we all deserve to see ourselves reflected; all shapes, all sizes, all genders, all ethnicities, all sexualities, all disabilities & abilities. Not seeing myself represented did not help my relationship with my body. I wore baggy clothes just because they was clothes, they were there to cover me up and nothing more. It isn’t until recently that I’ve had the confidence to feel sexy in my disabled body and proud to show it off in swimwear like bikinis or in lingerie itself. Disabled bodies are just as worthy as being seen as able-bodied people, of being allowed to feel empowered and sexy because they absolutely are. Every single one of them. Social media has the power to shape an audience’s knowledge and understanding about all matters of different topics including that of disabilities whether they be visible or invisible so this campaign positively spoke to me and it was such a privilege to take part in it amongst some incredible and beautiful people. It can help to influence how we see others and how we see ourselves. Accurate, authentic representation can break down barriers, open us to new ideas and even create powerful role models. There is a need to represent all who are in this society because if people don’t see themselves, then there is almost a lack of care that’s being communicated to people making them feel isolated and on the outside of the so called “norm”. Perceptions portrayed in the media directly influence the way people with disabilities are treated and viewed but for those wanting to see change within the industries, there are brands out there who are leading the way and taking those steps towards inclusivity. This is such a powerful and positive move that will lead to a change for that will be better for us all.

 

Are there any myths or misconceptions about disability you would you like to clear up or set the record straight about?

 

I would say that some of the biggest misconceptions of disability are that we aren’t proud of who we are. That we don’t enjoy the live we lead because it is “different” to what other peoples paths are. The reality is, all our paths are different because we in ourselves are unique. We don’t come from the same mould and we shouldn’t be expected to live life with that feeling that we do overshadowing us. Disability can affect anyone, of any age, at any moment in their life. It isn’t something rare and it isn’t something that is inherently a bad thing so it shouldn’t be seen in that way. Nor is the word disabled bad, don’t be afraid to use it. Our mobility aids are pretty much everything to us, they allow us to live, get outside and have levels of independence. I love my wheelchairs and after recently getting a power chair, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. However, our mobility aids does not mean we owe you are story when you you see us out and about. I’m more than happy to share my story and spread awareness but not when you’re coming up to me asking what’s wrong, what happened to you, you’re too young/too pretty to be in a chair, you don’t look ill. How would you feel if roles were reversed? Disability is not a burden, all we want is to live equal lives. We don’t talk about our illnesses, conditions or/and disabilities for pity or sympathy. We do it so that someone out there doesn’t feel alone, that they feel heard, so that we can spread awareness so that one day the world will be more inclusive.

ME/CFS is much more than being “tired”. Whilst fatigue is one of the main symptoms, there’s a lot more that goes on within our bodies that you cant see but effects us daily for example we are constantly in pain. No we can’t just sleep and feel better and no it can’t be cured by diet and exercise. It can also effect anyone of any age and it is not a rare condition, just in the UK alone there is estimated to be over 260,000 cases. There is also a belief that it is all in our heads or that the condition isn’t serious. I’m lifting a quote here from the Institute of Medicine Report ME/CFS that took place in 2015- “ME/CFS is a serious, chronic, complex, and multi-system disease that frequently and dramatically limits the activities of affected patients.”

 

What has been the response of you taking part in the campaign?

 

The response has been incredibly supportive, positive and overall just really really lovely. The comments on my instagram posts reinforced the feeling and understanding that these campaigns need to be out there and seen. I think it helped others feel comfortable and begin to feel confident in their bodies as it was a campaign of acceptance without making it seem separate or different to other campaigns and that what inclusion should feel like. My photos that are apart of the campaign are the first that I’ve posted of this kind and I have to say a massive thank you to Playful Promises for giving me the opportunity and platform to do so. It was a huge step in not just my body confidence but in my overall confidence in myself too and that came from not only taking the photos and seeing myself reflected in that way but from also seeing the beautiful people who also took part in this campaign. I found unity and power within that moment that was empowering and a boost of confidence in itself. I have huge respect and admiration for my fellow disabled babes so it was a honour to be apart of this campaign.

 

What would you like to see change in terms of representation and inclusivity in the future?

 

The change I’ve wanted to see for years has now begun and that change is seeing more people like myself following their dreams and being able to see them in visible fields that holds a close spot to my heart, those being the arts, fashion and media. I get the privilege of being a small part in that change and I can already see the difference it is making for so many people, including myself. Ive realised on this journey who am I and how much I actually love fashion, style, beauty and seeing the world become more inclusive with diversity just makes everything all that better. It’s what we all deserve and although there is change started, there certainly is space for more but I know that its going to be an amazing place for us all within a few years times. I would love for more places to become accessible. I would love to be able to go shopping and be able to do so without feeling like your going through a forest of clothes/products (that’s if you can fit through the isles) yet still cant reach the items or even the check out desk to pay for your own stuff without assistance. I would love for disabled people to be a thought when it comes to event planning. I don’t want to see me or any other disabled person having to use a dodgy back door (even on new buildings this has happened) to gain access to places. I just would love us all to be free to be ourselves, express ourselves in whatever form we may choose and be able to see people like us in movies and on the posters in shop windows. I feel like this is very important for future generations too, to grow up in a more accepting world.



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