Disability stylist Heidi shares with Liberare her story and tips about fashion and beauty for wheelchair users.
Hi, I’m Heidi and I'm a disabled personal stylist. I also run a string of youtube videos, where I help inspire & motivate people showcasing how to live a fulfilling life with a disability I used to run a hair and makeup company, specializing in weddings in and around the UK, until I fell down some stairs in my home, leaving me instantly paralyzed from the chest down. Life as I once knew it was hanging upside down on a string and it took a while to accept & adjust to my new way of living. However, I was soon quick to realize that just because I was now destined to be in a wheelchair, I certainly wasn’t going to be defined by it. I wanted people to see the real ‘Heidi‘ & not just ‘Heidi’ in the wheelchair.
I decided to train as a personal stylist, incorporating all my knowledge of hair and makeup as a beauty Specialist. I now offer a bespoke styling service to women who have suffered through adversity, helping them regain their inner style, self-belief & personality. Understanding your body shape and how to dress it, is key to making the most out of your figure. It’s all about illusion dressing. As a wheelchair user, I've learned lots of helpful tips and tricks along the way to make the most out of my seated position. It’s very easy to acquire a slouched position in a wheelchair, which adds to my ‘bloated‘ appearance. Not being able to wear the styles I wanted because of it, was so demoralizing and restrictive, until I discovered the world of corsetry. They cinch me in at the waist, giving me an immediate flat stomach, making the most of my curves and heightening my posture. They are the perfect undergarment for any woman’s closet!
Creating the illusion of height and extension in a wheelchair is a wonderful way to make the most out of a seated body shape. We firstly want to add a little drama to the upper body With the likes of a colorful scarf, a striking top, bold jewelry, a hat or a big bouncy blow-dry. Never underestimate the power of a good, everyday hair and makeup routine! Having a fresh, bouncy, blow dry & just simple makeup can do wonders for your self-esteem & appearance! Lastly, color has a dramatic impact on the way you look and also in the way that you feel and how people react to you. The right colors should all work in harmony with one another, giving you an instant facelift. Your eyes will become brighter, your hair shinier and your skin more luminous as opposed to wearing the wrong colors that can be aging & unflattering
Clothes are never just clothes, they are part of our identity and self-expression. Finding the right styles and colors have such a transformational effect on not only The way you look but also in the way you feel. It’s a kind of therapy, a journey to understanding and reawakening the real ‘YOU’. I believe that it’s so important to keep challenging yourself and to be brave in your choices in order to rebuild your self-worth, especially after any kind of life changing event. It’s all about kick starting the new YOU and can be applied to anyone’s story. Heidi X