Bridal Shop Earns Plenty Of Praise Online After Displaying A Mannequin In A Wheelchair

Many women, let alone wheelchair-using brides, find shopping for a wedding gown to be a daunting experience.

Beth Wilson, an artist from Portishead, North Somerset, UK, was thrilled to see a bridal boutique displaying one of its wedding gowns on a wheelchair-bound mannequin.

Wilson, who uses a wheelchair, said she felt represented after seeing The White Collection’s window display in January 2019. After seeing this magnificent display of diversity, she snapped a photo and sent it to Twitter, where it instantly went viral.

“The new wedding shop in town has a wheelchair-using mannequin,” she captioned the photo. It shouldn’t be exciting, but this is the first time I’ve seen handicap portrayed in a store window.”

The White Collection displaying one of their wedding dresses with a mannequin seated on a wheelchair

Wilson had been in a wheelchair for five years when she saw the show. Despite the fact that she didn’t need a wedding gown at the time, she realized that many women would be relieved to learn that there is a bridal boutique in the United Kingdom that can help.

Sarah Parker, who runs the shop with her sister Laura Allen, said she was saddened to see the rare sight.

The good response has been wonderful, but it’s a little sad that people have done a double take because it demonstrates how rare it is to see a wheelchair in a shop window.”

Allen said they didn’t think much about the display when they first put it together.

The White Collection displaying one of their wedding dresses with a mannequin seated on a wheelchair

It wasn’t the first bridal shop to portray disability in this way, but she hoped other shops would follow suit, especially since the bridal business isn’t particularly diverse. Bridal stores still use the standard slender mannequin.

“But every couple gets married,” she added, “no matter how you look or how you are, your wedding day will be unique.”

According to Wilson, disabled people often feel invisible because they do not see themselves in the media.

“I don’t need a wedding dress,” she said, “but if I did, I’d be happier shopping in a place where I know I’m welcome, wheelchair and all.”

Instead of covering the chair, the business owners decorated it with vines.

“Mobility aids are often depicted as unwanted items that people wish to hide,” Wilson continued. “However, mobility aids like wheelchairs allow us to be independent.”

Several people praised the display online, and The White Collection responded with a lengthy Instagram post.

“We’ve had a busy but amazing couple of days here at TWC. We didn’t think to publish this window display on our social media platforms or “put it out there” when we set it up, but it seems to have done so on its own! We want to thank everyone for their kind words about our window. We have been surrounded by so much love and positivity, which is what this profession is all about, right?!?”””

“If this window has taught us anything, it is that having a wheelchair user in the window makes a huge difference,” they continued. Hopefully, as time goes on, things like this won’t have such a big impact since there will be more of them.”

Despite not expecting so much attention, our display has sparked a (global!) conversation about diversity in business, which can only be good! Sarah, Laura, and the TWC team, thank you so much for all your help.”

Since Wilson tweeted this picture, women in wheelchairs have started sharing their own wedding day images and experiences.

Users from around the world uploaded photos of similar displays. I once shared a picture of a suit shop in Tokyo with a male mannequin in a wheelchair.

We appreciate how you make all types of brides feel comfortable at The White Collection!


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