Bridal boutique put a mannequin in a wheelchair and the gesture quickly went viral
A wedding dress boutique has been commended for featuring a mannequin in a wheelchair in its shop window.
Beth Wilson, who’s required the use of a wheelchair for as long as five years, spotted the mannequin in The White Collection Bridal Boutique in Portishead, Bristol recently.
“I think most disabled people experience inaccessibility often when they go out, I know I do, pretty much every time I go anywhere. The world isn’t designed for us."
THE PHOTO QUICKLY WENT VIRAL
Wilson immediately took a photo of the mannequin and posted it on her personal Twitter account.
"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 disability portrayed in a shop window," she wrote.
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 disability portrayed in a shop window. pic.twitter.com/N5sco2fLJf— Beth Wilson (@doodlebeth) January 9, 2019
The picture rapidly became a web sensation with over 7,900 retweets and over 35,200 likes. It has also been inundated with positive reactions.
A HUGE IMPACT ON HER
In an interview with The Independent, Wilson explained why the mannequin had such a massive effect on her as a wheelchair user.
“I think most disabled people experience inaccessibility often when they go out, I know I do, pretty much every time I go anywhere. The world isn’t designed for us,” she said.
As a recently engaged wheelchair user this bought 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. The inclusivity here is amazing, but also sad I’m so shocked by it.— sarahseventytwohome (@Sarah_Rose4) January 10, 2019
“This is the first time I’ve seen a wheelchair in a shop window like this (mobility shops not included) and it was so surprising to see and made me feel represented.”
Wilson continued that disabled people like her often feel invisible since they don't see themselves "in the media much and especially not modelling beautiful clothes."
She also praised The White Collection Bridal Boutique for decorating the wheelchair with lovely foliage.
"Mobility aids are often portrayed as negative things that people want to hide when actual mobility aids like wheelchairs give us freedom," said Wilson.
Congrats on your engagement, and dont let the chair keep you from your dream wedding, it has been done. Do you girl. 😊 pic.twitter.com/cLG6UyA1LM— Sharkinfl (@sharkinfl) January 10, 2019
THE DECISION WAS VERY SIMPLE
Laura Allen, who co-owns The White Collection Bridal Boutique with her sister Sarah Parker, told The Independent that they didn't overthink about their choice to put a wheelchair in the window display.
"Our thoughts of having one of them in a wheelchair was 'why not?' And we didn't really think too much about it," Allen said.
"We haven't shared any images of the window or spoken about it at all but the window seems to have spoken for itself! We love the fact that it's so simple compared to our window display before yet it portrays such a powerful message of inclusivity."
Many people began to share their own photographs of wheelchair-using brides in wedding gowns after Wilson's tweet showing a picture of the display went viral.
Follow us on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa, to learn more.