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“Let me be your stimy toy”: fashioning disability, cripping fashion

Melkumova-Reynolds, Jana ORCID: 0000-0002-9539-4115 (2023) “Let me be your stimy toy”: fashioning disability, cripping fashion. In: Mahawatte, Royce and Willson, Jacki, (eds.) Dangerous Bodies: New Global Perspectives on Fashion and Transgression. Springer International (Firm), pp. 35-56. ISBN 9783031062070

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-031-06208-7_3


This chapter considers how previously marginalised corporealities get incorporated into the visual mainstream and asks how – and if – fashion can help to disrupt the canons of bodily normalcy. It sets out a theoretical framework for analysing images of disability by outlining the four dominant strategies for representing disabled and other non-normative bodies in visual culture: ‘enfreakment’ (Garland-Thomson 1998); ‘mainstreaming’, a strategy that invites the viewer to negate and disregard the bodily difference (Smith 2006); ‘disability aesthetics’ (Siebers 2010); and ‘crip aesthetics’. It then discusses recent representations of disabled bodies in fashion and lifestyle media that perform or challenge these strategies, focusing on images of amputee performer and model Viktoria Modesta, amputee war veteran and model Noah Galloway, model Melanie Gaydos as shot by photographer Tim Walker and the fashion performances organised by non-binary queer and disabled Filipinx artist and designer Sky Cubacub. I argue that the latter projects offer alternative and radical ways of representing disability within a fashion context and celebrate visible difference as a source of creative potential, rather than attempting to normalise or fetishise it, thus ‘cripping’ fashion.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2024 Palgrave Macmillan
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 16:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:45

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