April 19, 2024

Ellie Darby-Prangnell is GLAMOUR’s Self Love Issue Coverstar

“It has also taken on the meaning of looking deeper into issues that affect our community because the ableds see Disability as so surface level. So, they think it’s our conditions that are the problem when actually it’s inaccessibility – air travel is horrendous, forced poverty, marriage inequality. It’s going deeper into so many issues and nuanced experiences that affect our lives,” says Ellie.

After feeling like an inconvenience, it was really important to Ellie that every shoot met the access needs of every person involved. “So, when I started Look Deeper properly, it was for the second issue: we did photoshoots and always asked about people’s access needs.

It made me realise it’s not hard. If someone needs to lay down to get changed, ‘Girl, get someone with a sofa, get a changing bench. ’ I’m doing this on, like, no budget, and you can do it. And it just shows how little the big industries care. They could put the work in, and they don’t,” says Ellie.

Ellie feels that although growing up with a Disability made her struggle as a kid to find self-love, it has only enhanced it since she found her community in her late teens and early adulthood. “I think when I found my community, that literally changed everything for me. I’ve never loved myself more than when I’m surrounded by other Disabled people,” she says.

Seeing Jillian being featured in a fashion campaign truly set off waves of change for the fashion industry, according to Ellie. “Honestly, it was fashion that I started to, in recent years, see us represented, and I was like, ‘They’re finally doing it right. ’ And that changed everything. There’s still got a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, but I think just the media in general, has historically done a bad job of representing us. It’s very much time for us to do it ourselves for that reason,” she says.

Watching Crip Camp, a 2020 documentary about the Disability rights movement through the eyes of leaders like Judith Heumann, the US Disability rights activist, was monumental in Ellie’s self-love journey. “When I watched Crip Camp and engaged more with the Disabled community, I felt so proud. That made me able to love myself a hell of a lot more than ever before,” she says. “Judy’s words and wisdom and her fight have influenced me so much. ”

“We are all the next wave of Disability activism. ”

“I’d always been content, and I’d never wish to not be Disabled, but it made me feel like I didn’t need to shrink my Disabled identity to appear less Disabled – even though that’s physically impossible. I used to feel very embarrassed even to exist publicly because you get people making stupid comments, and I would get stared at,” Ellie says. “But when I would see people like Judy in Crip Camp – and all the others icons – I was just like, it sounds cringe, but it’s like we’re all connected, and we are all as one. Even though you might not know this person, it’s like we’re connected. I don’t need to shrink any part of myself because they don’t. So why the hell should I do that? ”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *