Why is being brand ambassador to Global Disability Inclusion important to you?
by Shaholly Ayers, Model & Global Disability Inclusion Brand Ambassador
I am proud to announce that my role as Brand Ambassador for Global Disability Inclusion, LLC has been extended for 2017.
Working with Global Disability Inclusion (GDI), is an important part of my personal mission to create disability awareness. What better way to create change than by providing what I consider to be visual proof? By partnering with GDI, we not only provide proof through modeling efforts but by working with Fortune 500 companies to create disability inclusion programs which translate to career opportunities for people with disabilities.
In the last few years, we have been at the forefront of disability inclusion within the fashion industry. Some of our accomplishments include working in conjunction with production house FTL Moda in the first completely inclusive New York Fashion Week runway show. I had the opportunity to walk the runway as the first amputee without a prosthetic limb. Shortly thereafter, national luxury department store Nordstrom hired me to model for their anniversary catalog and later for their winter catalog. We have gone on to gain international press in publications ranging from GQ Italy, GQ Japan, The Sun, People, Cosmopolitan, and more.
The intention of my venture into modeling has always been to challenge the beauty standards created by society and perpetuated by the fashion industry. Let’s face it; we live in a world made up of all types of people with different cultures, identities, and lifestyles. To limit “beauty” to one particular look is unrealistic and unrepresentative of the world in which we live. By limiting what we deem socially acceptable in advertising, film, and print, we are making a silent statement about who we find acceptable within society. I’m proud to work with GDI in their goal to break down all of the stigmas surrounding disability so that we can truly create a more inclusive world.
Please stay tuned as we continue to create change!
Business Photo: Photographer Rich Heaton
Head shot with twisted hair: Photographer Marc Edwards and designer Ari South