Model with disability breaks barriers in the UK

The modeling industry is constantly evolving and, some argue, in need of major change. We’ve talked before about the lack of accessibility in the modeling world and the work being done by several different individuals to initiate change.

Katie Knowles is one such individual. As both a plus-sized model with a disability and a future lawyer, Knowles is breaking negative stigmas and proving that she is more than capable. Knowles also advocates for disability rights as a representative for Models Of Diversity, through which she has spoken to the UK Parliament. Knowles has degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis, and as a result sometimes uses mobility aids. Her choice in mobility device reflects her desire to bring disability intro the mainstream – Knowles uses Glamsticks, “bling designer crutches, individually crafted for…personal use” and created to provide a glamorous option for people looking for mobility aids. Discussing the reason behind her modeling work, Knowles told ExpressNorth, “I go to New Look and Top Shop but I’m not represented by the mannequins there, and I’m not represented in commercials or advertising – yet they are happy to take my money.”

Check out the video below, created by Made In Tyne & Wear, to learn more about Knowles, or visit her Facebook page.

These videos may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.