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Bristol Bridal Shop Praised For Wheelchair Window Display

January 11, 2019

A bridal shop has been praised for displaying one of its wedding dresses on a mannequin seated in a wheelchair.

A photo of the shop window display at The White Collection in Portishead, near Bristol went viral after being tweeted by artist Beth Wilson.

The 36-year-old has used a wheelchair for the past five years and said the display had made her feel represented.

Laura Allen owns the bridal shop with her sister Sarah Parker and said she was saddened it was that rare a sight.

Mrs Allen said they “didn’t think much about it” when they first installed the window display.

“It’s been great having such a positive response, but in a way it’s quite sad people have done a double take, it shows how rare it is to see a wheelchair in a shop window,” said Mrs Allen.

“It would be nice one day for people to double take just because they like the dress.”

The 29-year-old said she did not believe they were the first to represent disability in this way, but hoped other shops would follow their example.

“It’s an industry that’s well known for not being inclusive, a lot of bridal shops you go past you see the standard skinny mannequin,” said Mrs Allen.

“But everyone gets married, it doesn’t matter what you look like or how you are, your day is going to be special.”

“So often disabled people feel invisible because we don’t see ourselves in the media… especially not modelling beautiful clothes,” Mrs Wilson said.

“I don’t need a wedding dress, but if I did, I’d definitely be far happier about going to a shop where I knew that I’d be accepted, wheelchair and all.”

She said: “It’s great they decorated the chair rather than hiding it away.

“Mobility aids are often portrayed as negative things people want to hide, when actually mobility aids like wheelchairs give us freedom,” the artist continued.

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