Hi everyone. I’m going to be writing a column here which will explore identity: How we see ourselves, how others see us, how the interaction of the two shape our ability to create the person we want to be, and how all of this might affect our inner and outer beauty.
I believe that we can all choose our own identities, creating and recreating it throughout our lives.
Thanks to advancements in technology, we aren’t as beholden today to the limits of yesterday’s traditional identifiers of geography, gender, race, age or ancestry.
Today, a teenager in Kansas who dreams of being in the fashion industry gets to tune in—in real time—to a runway show as it’s happening a world away in Paris, London, Milan or New York.
Last March, Nicola Formichetti, the creative director of the iconic fashion brand Thierry Mugler, did just that. He created a set that granted the at-home viewer a better seat than the coveted front row. This controversial move shifted the power structure of the fashion food chain, giving his fans not only a real-time view of the show, but also the key seat in the house. The tradition continues: At Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week, over 30 designers showing at Lincoln Center broadcast their shows live on Youtube, treating the at-home viewer to a sense of inclusion and importance.
Now, people who would likely never be physically in the front row of a fashion show can connect from their own homes to fans of fashion around the globe. Geography has been trumped by the Internet. If you want to identify yourself as a fashion insider, you can, with resources and inside scoops provided in real time via social media outlets.
But that’s now. Let me go back to then.
When I was a year old, my legs were amputated below the knee. From that day forward I began a personal journey of choosing or creating my own identity rather than just being the version of Aimee Mullins others would have assumed—or insisted—I be.
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