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The Lifestyle & Fashion magazine is a community blog that allows passionate bloggers (and readers alike) to talk about their latest beauty tips, the newest fashion trends, and how everyone can live their best life.

This photoshoot has taken the internet by storm – take a closer look.

Gone are the days when fashion was only about stereotypes of perfection.

For years, magazine covers and billboards have dictated the way fashion has been perceived – we all saw size-zero women posing in perfect-looking toned bodies, giving a look of boldness and confidence into the camera while carrying off enviable clothes.

These images fed us the perception that fashion and beauty is about being tall, slim, having the perfect cheekbones, silken hair and the smoothest curves.

Not anymore. Thanks to several progressive minds, dressing is now about shapes rather than sizes, beauty is about happiness more than makeup and sexiness is an attitude.

The mantra of beauty and fashion has changed. For good. — by Preeti Pillai
The mantra of beauty and fashion has changed. For good. — by Preeti Pillai

Photographers and fashion moguls across the world have been focused on making fashion more accessible and inclusive. And one particular photo-shoot pushed the envelope further by shining the spotlight on one particularly ignored section of the society.

I’m talking about people with disabilities, the subjects of a recent trendsetting photoshoot by Models of Diversity. The shoot featured five models with disabilities looking bold and free of inhibition in Swimsuits For All.

These five incredible women are far from ordinary. — by Preeti Pillai
These five incredible women are far from ordinary. — by Preeti Pillai

The man behind the lens, James Lyon, has been conducting fashion shows that feature disabled models since 2012. He has been responsible for the casting and co-ordination of many such shows, and hopes to eradicate more than just the stigma of disability.

To him, photography is a tool to address the issue of low self-esteem among disabled people. Why should they not be cast as models for brands in fashion, beauty and mass-media?

The photographer behind the lens, James Lyon. — by Preeti Pillai
The photographer behind the lens, James Lyon. — by Preeti Pillai

To represent the people whose disabilities stop them from chasing their modelling dreams, Lyon chose a team of five incredible women – Fran, Dominic, Carla, Angelica and Ellie.

Fran is a former swift and competitive swimmer, a sport she passionately pursued despite being bron with cerebral palsy. Years later, she suffered an injury that put a stop to her passion, and she now models to set an example for other people with disabilities.

Dominic is a fighter – and she doesn’t plan to give up on her modelling career, despite having sight and hearing issues. With her confident presence, it is hard to tell that she has learning difficulties, autism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Autism and other problems did not stop Dominic from following her dreams. — by Preeti Pillai
Autism and other problems did not stop Dominic from following her dreams. — by Preeti Pillai

Carla had a long, tough journey to appreciating her body, but there is no longer room for any self-doubt in her mind. She was only seven months old when a fire broke out, taking away her left hand and leaving permanent scars.

Carla has learned to love her scars and her body. — by Preeti Pillai
Carla has learned to love her scars and her body. — by Preeti Pillai

Angelica is a plus-size model with a permanent accessory. Armed with a colostomy bag, she has survived bowel cancer, and shuts down body-shamers with her work.

Angelica is a successful plus-size model and a survivor of bowel cancer. — by Preeti Pillai
Angelica is a successful plus-size model and a survivor of bowel cancer. — by Preeti Pillai

Ellie is not just a model, she is also a dedicated student of hair and make-up. She has claimed her fate despite having Incontinentia Pigmenti, a condition that causes mobility issues, scarring and toothloss.

Ellie wants to be a model and hair & makeup artist despite her rare condition of Incontinentia Pigmenti. — by Preeti Pillai
Ellie wants to be a model and hair & makeup artist despite her rare condition of Incontinentia Pigmenti. — by Preeti Pillai

The sight of the incredible models standing proud, confident and full of ambition gives new hope – not just to those who battle disabilities, but also to the fashion industry, that has a lot to learn.

Another stereotype, broken. We’re making (slow but important) progress!

This article was originally published on @preeti_p