'The issue highlights how the fashion industry can be more inclusive, and adapt to better support the Disabled community,' the publication said.
Selma Blair is proud to be on the cover of British Vogue's May 2023 issue. She opened up about her struggles with the multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. She also shared how being an actor, she has used the platform to speak about people living with a disability. On April 20, British Vogue released pictures of the actor that showed her looking confident in a beige, cutout gown with a dramatic cape. She can be seen holding her cane front and center, according to TODAY.
In another picture, Blair is seen in a black strapless gown wearing pumps and holding a cane of the same color. Blair was featured in Vogue's "Reframing Issue" along with Sinéad Burke, Aaron Rose Philip, Ellie Goldstein, and Justina Miles, who are part of the May cover as well. The "Reframing Issue" has 19 people with various talents who are disabled, from different fields like sports, fashion, the arts, and activism. “The issue highlights how the fashion industry can be more inclusive and adapt to better support the Disabled community,” the publication said.
The 50-year-old actor became a face of the community in 2018 when she announced she has multiple sclerosis. She made her red carpet debut with her cane at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars Party, reported Hollywood Life. “I have an emotional and physical attachment to the cane,” she told the British publication. “I settle in my voice and body as soon as I hold (it). It’s an extension of me. And I know it adds to visibility.”
Blair continued, “So many younger people have started publicly embracing their sticks more. I do think representation matters. If I can help remove stigma or over-curiosity in a crowd for someone else, then that’s great.” The star credited her disabled allies, who inspired her to use her platform to speak about living with a disability. “I couldn’t have made a move — sometimes literally — without my allies in the disabled community. They blow my mind,” she said.
Blair opened up about struggling as a kid with her eye, leg, and bladder. She had unexplained laughter and crying also. She later realized that her mannerisms were signs of undiagnosed juvenile MS. While facing these issues, she thought she was "a hugely emotional person." After four years, she was informed that she had an MS diagnosis. “I looked like a ‘normal’ girl to them,” she said, “but I was disabled this whole time.”
Even though her doctor asked her to keep her diagnosis a secret, Blair knew the importance of being a public figure with a disability. “I didn’t imagine I could ever make a difference by showing up as myself and being open about my experiences,” she said. “But when others with mobility aids rallied around my presence on the red carpet with a cane and in the midst of an MS flare, I noticed. I felt empowered to share… Now it’s a conscious choice to.”
Talking about going public about her diagnosis, Blair said it "has had an incredible impact on the MS community but, more so, she’s had an impact on how the world views it.” She opened up to British Vogue that she has not given up on her acting career. “I haven’t actively pursued work in acting — it hasn’t been the right time yet — but it’s absolutely doable for me. I have to take the leap,” she said.
Reportedly, her MS is currently in remission after a recent stem cell transplant. Earlier this year, she told SELF, "I’m so much better, but it haunts my physical cells. It’s there." “Some people wake up two years later, and they’re like, ‘I’m healed! Colors are brighter!’ But I never had that moment. I just stopped having a regression.”