The Inimitable Powerhouse On Why We Are Living In The Greatest Possible Moment In History.
There are few more inspirational figures in that contemporary paradigm than Aimee Mullins. Aimee has been a global ambassador for L’Oreal for seven years and her achievements are countless beyond the realm of fashion. Born with a condition that meant she became an amputee at the age of one, she has become an inspiring beacon of resilience the world over, achieving more than most people ever dream of – excelling in the fields of sport from a young age and radically re-defining perceptions of both ability and beauty. It was as a muse to Alexander McQueen that she made her catwalk debut on a pair of hand-carved wooden legs in the late-90s, in a show that still resounds as a pivotal moment in the canon of fashion history. In this extract from our extended interview, she tells AUTHOR why we all have a responsibility to reflect upon the present as one of the most exciting times to be alive.
“The amount of time it takes for people to get their heads around the idea that ‘this is also beautiful’ is shrinking”
– Aimee Mullins
“I remember when I was in university doing a history major and our professor had to go around the room and ask ‘if we could’ve lived any other time or place, when would it be, and why?’ We got to this woman in the class and she just said ‘I’m black and a female and this is the best possible time for me to be alive.’ I never forgot that, because I thought, if I was born a hundred years ago, I know my personality would be the same, but my opportunity would not. The incredible bene t of the globalization of social media is that it is expanding opportunity even more. There is still a lot of imagery out there that is very limiting when it comes to perceptions of beauty, of course, but we’ve come a long way. When you’re looking at a culture that discriminates against many things, but predominately your body – if you become an amputee or paralyzed, you won’t get a job, they won’t hire you – then the fact that I am now the face of the biggest beauty brand in the world is a sign of progress. It has come eighteen years after Alexander McQueen asked me to do his show, but because of the amount of imagery online now, the amount of time it takes for people to get their heads around the idea that ‘this is also beautiful’ is shrinking more and more. It feels like real acceptance is happening in society on so many levels.”
Interview by JOHN-PAUL PRYOR
Picture by MARLENA BIELINSKA