After revealing her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis back in October 2018, Selma Blair was thrusted into the spotlight thanks to her unbridled honesty about the condition. She explained via Instagram, "I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy."
So stepping out on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party, Blair sent an important message to chronically ill and disabled people all over the world. And, no, it didn't include the word "inspiring."
Too often, disabled people are used as able-bodied inspiration, but in a new interview with Vanity Fair, Blair—who is known for her iconic roles in movies like Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde—debunks that idea. Instead, Blair sees "a need for honesty about being disabled from someone recognizable," which is why she walked the red carpet with a cane. A chic cane, no less, designed to coordinate with her truly stunning Ralph & Russo caped gown.
Despite having the wild opportunity to write about fashion occasionally, I also—all too often—find myself wearing baggy t-shirts and leggings for ease. Any disabled person will tell you that when energy is a commodity as precious as Kardashian loyalty, fashion is sadly one of the things that gets sacrificed in day-to-day life. But Blair wants to change that.
As Vanity Fair reports, Blair's main complaint about being diagnosed with MS is "the lack of stylish clothing available to disabled people. It might sound frivolous, but to Blair, who has always used clothes as a form of self-expression, it is a matter of identity." And a form of self-expression for which chronically ill and disabled people are regularly an afterthought.
But Blair might have a solution that the world is most definitely ready for. "I would like to partner with someone like Christian Siriano on a line for everyone—not just people who necessarily need adaptive clothing, but for those who want comfort, too. It can still be chic. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style. Like, let’s get elastic waistbands to look a little bit better." And who better to make Blair's idea a reality than Christian Siriano, a designer who continually strives for inclusivity and body positivity?
Importantly, Blair wants to end the unease anyone feels using mobility aids, or the prejudice that might result when interacting with a person using one. "You want to still be part of the living, not a shuffling person people get out of the way for because they're queasy," she explains, "A cane, I think, can be a great fashion accessory."