Aerie Real Role Model Brenna Huckaby on the Difficulties Of Shopping With a Disability

The fashion industry is slowly becoming more inclusive to size, but there’s still a long way to go. Outside of making clothes that fit curves better or that extend into plus-size, there’s another group of people the industry forgets about: people with disabilities. #AerieReal role model, Brenna Huckaby knows all about this. The #AerieReal role models are “a source of inspiration” to Aerie customers and women who shop with the brand. Aerie has always stayed true to working with women who have unique stories, real bodies, and influential voices. Brenna is one of those women.

She joined the family of role models earlier this year where she hopes to “help change the stigmas of disabilities” as a part of this campaign. The gold medal para snowboarder had her leg amputated in 2010 after being diagnosed with cancer at 14 years old and her entire world changed. Teen Vogue chatted with Brenna about the difficulties of shopping with a disability and what being a role model means to her.

Brenna is one of the first women to be a part of this campaign with a physical disability. As a woman with a “relaxed, on-the-go style,” she loves fashion with a bit of functionality but it wasn’t an easy transition into shopping when her body first changed. “When I lost my leg I had no idea what I was going to look like. I thought I was going to walk around with a springy leg,” like the ones runners use in the Paralympics. “I had no idea that I was going to live a normal life,” Huckaby admits about her initial thoughts after her amputation.

Due to lack of representation and people with disabilities being “hidden” for so long, Huckaby didn’t know what her shopping experience would be like. “I find it really hard to find things that are flattering to my prosthetic leg. My prosthetic leg is significantly smaller than my actual leg, so one side is usually baggier than the other and that has really been frustrating in my life,” the Aerie role model tells Teen Vogue.

Brenna had to build up the mindset to know that the clothing she wore didn’t define her, but her confidence does. “Once I learned to accept myself and accept my body, shopping became a lot easier,” she says. In a recent Instagram post she admitted she’s most self-conscious in a pair of pants. “There is a part of me that doesn’t care and loves herself regardless, but that annoying voice in my head that looks at pictures and says ‘oh no baby what is you doin’ still exists,” she wrote.

Now she wears confidence better than any pair of pants. “I know something works when I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Dang girl, you’re killing it,’ that’s when I know to buy it. I don’t look at what’s not fitting, I look at how it makes me feel,” Brenna says. She admits she still struggles sometimes because “some tight or bodycon dresses are super awkward.” Brenna thinks it’s time for the industry to “be aware that [people with disabilities] exist, love clothes, and love to feel on top of the world in what [they’re] wearing.”

This post was originally published on this page

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.