Teen Vogue is the latest fashion platform that focuses on diversity and inclusion, as it presents three models with disabilities on the cover of the September issue of "The New Faces of Fashion."
Models Jillian Mercado, who has spastic muscular dystrophy; Mama Cax, an amputee; and Chelsea Werner, who has Down syndrome, took center stage this month by posing for one of the magazine's three covers.
To further fuel a conversation about diversity in fashion, the magazine hired Keah Brown, a 26-year-old journalist with cerebral palsy, to write the cover story about the three women.
Innovation: Teen Vogue launched three covers separately, in the photo appears Chelsea Werner, who has Down syndrome, of models with disabilities for its September edition
In balance: Mama Cax, a person with amputation, first got the attention of her blog that promoted diversity and inclusion for people with prostheses and other disabilities
Revolutionary: also appears on a cover the model Jillian Mercado, who has spastic muscular dystrophy and has appeared in campaigns for Nordstroms, Target and Olay.
Role model: Chelsea recently modeled in an Aerie bra campaign with Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman
"When you are a person with a disability, feeling that people are watching or judging you is one of the most difficult experiences," Keah wrote at the beginning of the cover story.
She goes on to explain how each of the three models joined an industry that tends to represent the opposite of diversity.
"The models have bodies that are considered aspirational, and strut around the track as if they were giving an ode to people who can not walk," Keah wrote.
"This makes the emergence of models with disabilities revolutionary, calling into question an acceptable form of discrimination in the industry."
The revolution only began when brands like Aerie, ASOS and Tommy Hilfiger launched their own campaigns in the last year to represent people with disabilities.
Jillian, 30, admitted in the magazine that she used to hide who she really was because there was no one in the industry to represent her.
"There was no one who looked like me in any magazine or media," Mercado said.
"He excluded me from something that I was very passionate about."
In contrast, the model, which has spastic muscular dystrophy, would only show her face in social media publications to hide her body.
After feeling that it was not enough for years, one day Jillian realized that her body and her disability were not something to hide.
"One day I thought, enough is enough," he said. I'm going to embrace who I am. "
Unbelievable: Teen Vogue also hired journalist Keah Brown, 26, who has cerebral palsy, to write the journal's innovative cover story
Honorable: Keah expressed his gratitude for the publication on Twitter after its launch
Awesome: Jillian told Teen Vogue that she used to hide her body, but now she proudly shows it to the world to see it
Inspirational: Cax explained how important it was for brands to present people in all ways because they all bought products
Empowering: Chelsea, who has Down syndrome, acquired an Aerie campaign in August by sending a video to the brand where she described herself as "strong and proud".
Jillian is now represented by IMG models and has appeared in a variety of campaigns with Nordstroms, Target, Diesel and Olay. She even modeled Beyonce's merchandise on the singer's website.
Next to Jillian for the number of & # 39; New faces & # 39; of Teen Vogue, is Cax, a blogger and defender who is represented by Jag Models.
Cax has appeared in campaigns for Tommy Adaptive, ASOS and Wet N Wild, where he proudly shows off his amputated leg instead of hiding the camera's disability.
"I think it's so important to show people with physical disabilities because there are people who have physical disabilities who buy products and who are never represented in any way or form," he told the magazine.
His blog on fashion and inclusion has grown in popularity over the years because of how transparent he is with his audience about his prosthesis.
The third model to win a spot on the cover of Teen Vogue was Chelsea, a 25-year-old woman with Down syndrome who posed with Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman for an Aerie bra campaign in August.
Chelsea first acquired the campaign by sending the brand a video in which it described itself as "strong and proud".
Since the launch of the campaign, the brand saw an influx of positive comments for people with disabilities.
Only the beginning: although some trolls have tried to attack the three covers, Keah told them to relax because this was the future of the fashion industry.
Proud: Jillian took to Twitter to recommend Teen Vogue for her steps towards changing the fashion industry with the latest issue
Obsessed: most of the online responses were positive about the inclusive covers
Progress: People expressed how inspired they were by the stories and images of the three models
Chelsea's mother, Lisa, told the magazine: "I think if other companies perceive the positive comments, they will realize that it's something really good for them, in terms of business."
Since Teen Vogue revealed its three new covers, Keah took to Twitter to express what it meant to listen to be part of the important function.
"The response has been overwhelming," he wrote. "It's the representation I've always wanted to be part of, it feels like real magic.
Online Trolls tried to knock down Keah and its cover story, but he did not allow them to get noticed on their social media platform.
"I'm not going to address the troll individually, but I'll say this because I know you're looking here, tell me when you have a cover story on Teen Vogue," he wrote on Wednesday.
"I am beautiful in my disabled body, each model of this cover is beautiful in yours". We are just beginning & # 39;
In addition to the occasional Internet troll, the publication has received a great deal of praise for breaking down barriers within the fashion industry.
"I was obsessed with @TeenVogue as I grew up, but I never saw #Disability represented. How times have changed," one person wrote online.
Another wrote: & # 39; Finally progress! Congratulations to @TeenVogue for your amazing cover! It is fair to see that we are adequately inspired. "
The publication acknowledged that there is still room for growth in the fashion industry to represent disability, but many echoed Keah's statement that the increase in diversity is just beginning.