On Sunday night, Selma Blair walked the red carpet with a cane. It was her first public appearance since she’d be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she’s been candid about how putting a name to her disability has changed her life for the better. Now, in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Blair said that she wants people with disabilities to have more options in terms of fashion that fits and looks good on them, and hopes retailers will rise up to the challenge:
Throughout the course of our three-hour conversation, Blair offers only one complaint about her M.S. diagnosis—and it’s related to the lack of stylish clothing available to disabled people.
She’s thought about launching her own disability-inclusive fashion line to address the problem—and notes that it’s not like her wishlist is that long to begin with, either:
Blair has had a difficult time adapting her style for M.S. functionality and has been dreaming up a solution: “I would like to partner with someone like Christian Siriano on a line for everyone—not just people who necessarily need adaptive clothing, but for those who want comfort, too. It can still be chic. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style. Like, let’s get elastic waistbands to look a little bit better.”
The entertainment industry has a long way to go in terms of making room for disabled people to fully express themselves. Blair wants to move that process along by normalizing canes and reminding people they can fashionable too:
“I have met so many people on Instagram who have said that they were always ashamed of their cane,” says Blair. “You want to still be part of the living, not a shuffling person people get out of the way for because they’re queasy. A cane, I think, can be a great fashion accessory.”
Blair, who has struggled with depression and says she used to self-medicate with alcohol, says her diagnosis has brought a lot of clarity to her life. She sees the occasion as an opportunity to help others, even if it’s just by talking about living with M.S.:
“I’m pretty much a nobody in Hollywood,” she says dryly. “But when I read comments on Instagram from people who were suffering, whether it was from M.S., or anything, I thought, Holy shit, there’s a need for honesty about being disabled from someone recognizable.” Blair can’t sleep much lately, so she has been trying to respond to many of the people who take the time to comment on her posts. “I care about the people on my damn Instagram,” she says. “An actor I admire said Instagram could have been a great experiment for the human condition, but instead it’s curated narcissism. And, yes, there’s some of that. But for me, it has been an exploration into the human condition.”
Read the full interview here.