“Disabled bodies are so unique and beautiful”

Graphic shows Shelby wearing yellow trousers and a black top that says "baddie". She is sitting in a pink wheelchair and has pink stars around her

Interview with Shelby Lynch

Shelby Lynch is 24 years old and she works as an influencer and model. Her goal is to make fashion more accessible for people with disabilities. She also wants to encourage the fashion world to be more inclusive and represent disabled people!

Shannon, who is one of our volunteers, spoke to Shelby to find out what kind of change she wants to see in the world for disabled people. Thank you to Shelby and Shannon for this brilliant interview!

What does a truly inclusive world look like to you?

To me, an inclusive world is where every minority is represented in TV, film, the media, and the workplace. This includes different ethnicities, different disabilities, sexual orientations, body size, etc. 

If you could change anything about the world, what would it be and why? 

To have more younger people in positions to take charge in government, to allow outdated laws to be become obsolete. 

 What do you celebrate about being a part of the disabled community? 

I celebrate the fact that disabled bodies are so unique and beautiful – they should be represented more in the media. The disabled community is also the funniest community I know – we deal with so much, like trolling on the internet and ableism in real life that it makes our humour top tier! 


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A post shared by Shelby (@shelbykinsxo)

Which things do you think non-disabled people should be doing to make the world more accessible? 

Basic things like making buildings accessible and making accommodation for disabled people to access. Able people should also start treating disabled adults as adults and not like children that must be infantilised.

Can you recommend any books, films or podcasts that give a good insight into understanding the experience of being a young disabled person? 

The Fundamentals of Caring. It’s a film about a teenage boy who has muscular dystrophy and goes on a road trip with his carer where they have funny adventures. The film is far from perfect but it’s the closest film I can relate to. 

What does allyship look like to you? 

Allyship is when able people listen to disabled people and amplify our voices. This doesn’t mean talking over us and it doesn’t mean questioning our experiences, we just need to be supported in the best way for us. 

What lessons have you learned about yourself since you were young? 

The world is mean. It wasn’t until my social media platform grew a couple of years ago that I realised so many people have old-fashioned thoughts and opinions, and literally know nothing about disabled people. Sometimes, I’m shocked about the comments I receive; it feels like a lot of people live under a rock and are just really nasty. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? 

If you would like to know more about how to be a good disabled ally and how to compact ableism, please follow disabled content creators online. Hearing our stories and experiences will help you empathise in order to make the world more inclusive. 

If you are looking for support and information on issues relating to disability

You can follow Shelby on Instagram here.

Read Lauren’s article about exploring nature as a disabled person.

Read our article about disability in the workplace.

Find out more about experiencing ableism as a student.

Next Steps

  • Disability Rights UK is an umbrella organisation working with and for disabled people to remove the structural and economic barriers in work and society.
  • Youreable is an online community forum for disabled people.
  • Outsiders run the sex and disability helpline 07770 884 985
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.

By Holly Turner

Updated on 22-Jun-2022

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