Wheelchair-using brides celebrate this bridal boutique for its heartwarming inclusivity

Bridal boutique displays a wheelchair-using mannequin
Bridal boutique displays a wheelchair-using mannequin

It’s about time such inclusivity and diversity is displayed in store windows. It should now be a norm instead of a rare occasion.

One billion people are living with a disability around the world. According to statistics South Africa, mobility impairments are more prevalent among women than men (8.3% and 6.5% respectively).

However, inclusivity in the beauty and fashion industry is yet to be a norm. We still find ourselves throwing congratulatory parties for the few brands that are breaking barriers. 

This is why the White Collection Bridal Boutique in England went viral on Twitter after a local artist who has a mobility impairment, Beth Wilson, shared a picture of the store's window display - a mannequin seated in a wheelchair.

Beth, who has been using a wheelchair for five years now, could not contain her excitement.

“The new wedding shop in town has a wheelchair using mannequin and it shouldn’t be exciting but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a disability portrayed in a shop window,” she wrote.

READ MORE: CFDA report highlights what it will take to achieve a truly diverse and inclusive fashion industry

Her post was quickly flooded with numerous positive responses from people all over the world.

The tweet has been liked 35 000 times and has already been shared over 7 000 times. 

Some people commented on how flowery and beautifully decorated the wheelchair was, which prompted Twitter user Marina Carlos to share how she draped her wheelchair for a wedding.

After Beth’s tweet, other people started sharing their own pictures and experiences of being wheelchair-using brides. 

“As a recently engaged wheelchair user this brought tears to my eyes... I’ve put off looking at dresses because of the fear of it not working with my chair/it not being the whole ‘say yes to the dress’ experience.

READ MORE: From the unconventional to the glamorous: memorable wedding dresses we loved in 2018

“The inclusivity here is amazing, but also sad I’m so shocked by it,” commented bride-to-be, Sarah.

One tweep wrote, “I’d love to see more representation of queer disabled people getting married and just existing — whether that’s within romantic relationships or not".

In a statement the store released on Facebook, they wrote:

If this window has done anything, it’s shown us how much of an impact having a wheelchair user in the window has caused, and hopefully as time goes by, things like this will not cause so much of a big response, because there will be a lot more of it around.
The White Collection Bridal Boutique

Speaking to Today Style, the co-owner of the store, Laura Allen, said they had just removed an elaborate mannequin display that had a Cinderella carriage, a staircase and falling snow.

READ MORE: These women CEOs are dominating the beauty industry - so why aren't there more?

“Our thoughts of having one of them in a wheelchair was ‘why not?’ We didn’t think too much about it,” says Laura.

This mannequin named Prunella officially gets the stamp of approval in our view. 

Have you ever seen a local store window display any kind of physical impairments? Tell us here.

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