Access to adaptive fashion and disability fashion has been restricted on Facebook and Instagram with the systems currently in place. This leaves small businesses with incredible fashion options unable to connect with their customers, disabled people. (See story on AutisticStyle.fashion.blog >>)
It seems the algorithms are routinely mistaking adaptive fashion products, and related advocacy and pride products, for medical advice, pseudoscience or fake news and getting their products nixed in the process.
Eek. I wonder if this is an unintended side effect of Autistic activists worldwide fighting together to get the ‘vaccines cause autism’ cult who sell toxic ‘autism cures’ products, that include ingredients like like industrial-strength bleach, knocked off these platforms.
Mighty Well, a small business, has been experiencing this issue over the past two years … And that’s about the time Autistic activists and allies were successful at exposing the dangers of pseudoscience on Autistic children with these products online. Many social media platforms started yanking these toxic ‘cures’ and propaganda books off the menu due to the success of Autistic activists like Emma Dalmayne in the UK.
If that’s the case, oops! The need to save vulnerable people and Autistic children from being force-fed industrial strength bleach in baby-bottles, sippy cups or delivered via an enema in an attempt to ‘cure’ them is absolutely paramount … the harm happening to these children is ongoing and awful. So we must keep protections in place for those abuses, and we also need to get this complication for fashion adaption and related products getting nixed remedied.
Did you know the very same activists, myself included, that influenced Facebook and Instagram’s change in algorithm blocking these products, also have great need for adaptive fashion products too? Yup. We want to connect with brands that focus on adaptive fashion that’s stylish and affordable. Many of us have Autistic kids. Some of us even have Autistic grandkids. Believe me, we LOVE our fashion and our families do too.
Historically, Autistic people have had their fashion and style market co-opted by non-Autistic women and non-Autistic moms. This has been going on for decades now and it’s very frustrating and demeaning to our personhood. It is also one of the reasons I started this venture … this site is my advocacy effort, matched with a very beloved special interest of fashion and style, to help illustrate Autistic and Divergent people’s culture, style, fashion hacks and other style trends.
It’s also for Autistic and Divergent folks to share their style and discover fun new items, or workarounds, or anything related to self-expression. Also as a space for Autistic and Divergent creators to share their products. I admit this project is incredible fun and I love to see what my peers are doing with fashion and their adaptive fashion hacks.
Heck, this entire blog and effort on my part is to show Autistic and Divergent people’s culture, styles and trends so brands can connect with us and start learning more about our demographic. Also, to show that we have our own fashion sense and styles, that often don’t match the general market’s trends — and yet we are so absolutely fabulous.
Right now, many Autistic people and divergent people are invisible to the brands we love. That or silenced by the brands founders, co-founders and/or CEOs because of their position on one of these Autism organization boards. That or their company somehow benefits from the affiliation and profits the “Autism Market” generates. It really is a horrible feeling when shopping in Ulta and seeing my favorite brands in makeup be geared to Non-autistic people – and worse yet, supporting organizations that don’t support my people, but rather our ‘cure’ or extinction.
Mighty Well’s experience is just one example of a pattern that has been going on for at least two years. Platforms, please fix the algorithms to make sure we aren’t missing out on connecting with the small businesses and brands that do see Autistic and Divergent people. Please respect our divergent needs, and reach out to those that want to collaborate to offer products that meet the needs and wants of our actual market.