Paper Magazine has placed a Black, transgender, disabled model on its cover for the first time.
Aaron Philip who made headlines after landing an Elite Model Management contract in September 2018 is striking a pose on one of seven Paper mag covers honoring the LGBTQ community during Pride month.
The 18-year-old was born with cerebral palsy but that hasn’t stopped her from slaying and using her disability to beat the odds and break barriers, CNN reports.
my first major cover.
shot by my love Myles Loftin (@goldenpolaroid)
interviewed by my hero @NaomiCampbell ❤️
styled by Tiffani M. Williams
makeup by Raisa Flowers & Keyanna Banks
hair by Evanie Frausto
— aaron philip (@aaronphilipxo) June 24, 2019
“The fashion industry has only known one type of body, and one type of marketable figure for so long,” Philip previously told CNN. “(But) now we’re entering this time, and this climate, where all types of bodies want to be pushed forward and celebrated — not only celebrated, but be seen as desirable and marketable.”
The Antigua-born Philip has made waves thanks to her social media presence. Her claim to fame stems from a 2017 tweet that went viral in which she said, “honestly when i get scouted/discovered by a modeling agency it’s OVER for y’all!”
She explains that there is a void in the fashion model industry when it comes to representation of disabled individuals.
“There’s still a great lack of visibility and attention towards people with disabilities in fashion,” she said in the CNN interview. “As of right now, I’m one of two physically disabled models in the entire industry, next to Jillian Mercado.
“It shouldn’t be the responsibility of anyone who is marginalized to amplify their voice when there are so many voices that can amplify (it for) them,” she continued. “But it’s just the way of getting to where you need to be. So I’ll do it. And hopefully I’ll do it so that other girls in my position don’t have to — they can just live and do their jobs.”