In Fashion It's All About The BODS

No, it's not what you think.

BODS is the acronym every Spashionista needs to remember. It stands for budget, occasion, disability, and shape, and it's the encapsulation of everything you need to know to have the ultimate wardrobe that works exclusively for you.

Budget - This much-maligned term should be approached from a positive point of view instead of from a place of limitation. While it's true that our money seems to buy less with each passing day there's no reason why, regardless of our income, we shouldn't always try to get the best value for the lowest price. This is especially true for the majority of the disabled for whom disposable income and transportation can be hard to come by.

Occasion - Your wardrobe should be appropriate for the places you go, the people you're with, and the events in which you're participating. If you work in an office you won't last long if you wear sweats or a tube top. On the other end of the spectrum you'll seem oddly out of place if you wear an formal dress to a sporting event.

Disability - Those of us with a physical handicap have to take this into account with every article of clothing we wear. If you're on crutches chances are good you can't walk on 4" heels - whereas if you're in a wheelchair these may be quite doable. You may want to rethink a very short skirt if you're spastic because you may inadvertently show off more than you intended. Get the picture?

Shape - Here's where your body type comes into play. Take a little time to figure out what your true shape and size are. Every body type has it's blessings and it's curses. If you're smart you'll quickly learn how to maximize the former while minimizing the latter.

That's the synopsis of BODS. Next time I'll start what will be a series of posts focusing on clothing options from full-price to a fraction of retail.

BODS

We Can Work It Out

And we should work it out.  I don't care how mild or how severe your CP is we Palsies deserve to look as good as anybody else.

The way you dress reflects how you feel about yourself. It doesn't determine your worth as a person, but it does determine your estimation of your own value. It lets other people know how much or how little you think about the package you're presenting to the world. I think it's really, really important for those of us with Cerebral Palsy to understand that we have the potential to be as valuable as anyone else. It's equally important to understand that we are being judged for our physical appearance far more critically than our able-bodied counterparts. It's not because people are jerks - although some people clearly are. It's because as human beings we are physiologically hardwired to notice differences in our environment and that includes people who look or move in a way that is radically different from the norm. In other words, people are going to notice you because you are handicapped. All the political correctness in the world isn't going to change that. It's just going to make others that much more hesitant to approach you for fear of saying something offensive.

Do you want someone else's first impression of you be of nothing but your disability? Are you so nicely wrapped that people are staring at you - in a GOOD way - because they'd like to interact with you? Or do you look like you either think little of yourself or wish you owned Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility?

Why deny anyone the opportunity to get to know you? Change their preconceptions with that first glance, that first impression. You can do it. I have done it, and I know that for a fact because people I've met that have become friends have told me so.

It took me far too long to come out of the shadows. Don't waste another day of your life waiting for the world to change. Change your world - today.

I want to get to know you! I want to start a movement with you. I want to recruit you as a fellow Spashionista. I want us to help each other look like we're worth our weight in gold; because we are!