Is the fashion world ready for a disabled model?
Probably not, says Sophie Morgan, one of eight disabled women vying for a modelling career on the reality series Britain’s Missing Top Model.
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“I loved that the show raised that question and tried to answer it,” says Morgan, who was paralyzed below her chest in a car accident six years ago.
“And I think the disabled have every right to share that catwalk.
“But whether the fashion world is ready and you can make a living at it, I have to honestly say not yet.”
Britain’s Missing Top Model explores that question in great detail as it puts its contestants — who have disabilities as varied as deafness, missing limbs and brain injuries — through their supermodel paces as they vie for a modelling contract and a magazine shoot.
BMTM best resembles your typical model search show but one that challenges society’s preconceptions on beauty.
“I was worried the show would be handled badly,” says the Sussex-born Morgan, the only contestant in a wheelchair.
“But in the end, I decided it would be a challenge and a weird thing to do.
“So I did it. And I enjoyed it. And it definitely taught me things and gave me more confidence.”
Confidence — apparently — that made her realize she didn’t want to be a model.
“It sort of pushed me away from modelling. I didn’t like how the models were treated and how they didn’t have a voice. It was all about clothes,” she says.
A lot of Morgan’s time these days is spent as the spokeswoman for IMPERFECT, an organization that functions as both a support group and an activist group that draws attention to cases of disability discrimination.
“It’s aimed at inspiring self-confidence and empowering disabled people to stand up for themselves.”