disabled talent

‘The hard work is never over’

Three years before “manifesting” became the new wellness craze in late 2020, Aaron Rose Philip tweeted that when she was finally signed to a modeling agency, it was going to be “OVER for y’all.” And she was right.

Philip, a transgender Antiguan American model who was born with cerebral palsy, has published a book, been profiled by the New York Times and Vogue, was interviewed by her idol Naomi Campbell, starred in multiple high-profile fashion editorials, served as grand marshal for New York City’s 2021 Pride Parade and performed in a Miley Cyrus music video — all before she turned 21.

So, yes, it was over for all of us the second she decided to pursue the fashion industry when she was a junior in high school.

“I am someone who has lived 50 lives in 21 years,” she told In The Know. “I for sure use fashion as an outlet for my own personal happiness and self-expression.”

Philip is now managed by Community New York and Milk Management London and has modeled for almost five years now. But as she continues adding to her already impressive résumé, she is still waiting to see disability be made an equal part of the conversation surrounding the need for more diversity within fashion and beauty.

“I’ve had so many opportunities [in which] the client may revert on their decision to cast me or the job ‘just doesn’t work out’ in general due to them not being able to accommodate my disability,” Philip explained.

Physical impairment is the most common form of disability in the U.S. — affecting one out of every seven adults. Fashion is a profit-driven industry that still fails to create adaptive clothing for a significant portion of the population. In a commercial

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