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Jason Clymo – Breaking New Ground in Modelling Diversity

Posted on 02 August 2018

Jason Clymo – Breaking New Ground in Modelling Diversity

At Mr.Men’s we often cross paths with remarkable people with unique stories and admirable aspirations. Jason Clymo, who came to visit us last week, is definitely no exception to the rule.

An activist in the fight for the inclusion of people with disability in the fashion industry, and all industries for that matter, Jason has teamed up with Starting With Julius to help lead the endeavour. “I’m so motivated to help my community feel better represented and understood” he says – Starting With Julius is an organisation that promotes the greater and better representation of people with disability in media and communications, with a focus on mainstream advertising.

Courtesy of WINK Models

Almost 4 years ago now, Jason fell 3 storeys through the middle of a stairwell at a friend’s apartment, breaking his spine and damaging his spinal cord. Jason now lives with a physical impairment where he is paralysed from the waist down. As a wheelchair user, he faces a multitude of barriers in our society. Jason believes that “disability is an experience people with impairments face when they encounter barriers”. He says “part of working for better representation is to hopefully break down some of these barriers”.

Originally a medical student at Monash University, Jason had often thought about leaving medicine to work in fashion. After acquiring his impairment, he made the decision to leave medicine to pursue something he felt more passionate about – working as a model to help increase representation of people with disability.

Realizing the unbelievable lack of representation of the disabled community in magazines, fashion shows and catalogues. Jason made it blatantly obvious that there are no role models for people with disability in the fashion sphere. So without hesitation, Jason made it his personal mission to change things for the better.  “I’d personally love to see disability become much more present in all types of advertising. Including fashion, beauty, editorial and on runways. After all, we are consumers of these sorts of products – so we deserve to be represented, thought of and marketed to” he says.

Now officially signed with WINK Models, Jason has modelled for Target, the FashionAble Show, and featured on Stellar Magazine.

A MASSIVE thank you to my friends at @trenery for generously gifting me the coat I wore in my @stellarmag feature. This will definitely help me survive the Winter a little easier. ❄️ 💜 😘

A post shared by Jason Clymo (@mylifewithwheels) on

When he’s not modelling, boxing or reading, Jason works in Marketing for a Tourism business. His insight into the gap in the industrial market is profound –  “About 20% of the population are people with disability, which currently makes us the largest minority group.” he says. “Almost 100 per cent of brands and companies are neglecting 20 per cent of their market. This doesn’t sound like a smart marketing practice to me”. He makes a good point.
“We’re not asking for a favour, we’re asking these organisations to be smarter in their marketing and branding. On top of that, we’re asking them to be inclusive of all people because it’s the right thing to do. Because of the positive impact, it will have on our community”.

Along with a few “secret projects”, Jason will be featured in an upcoming show called Carry On Doco where he joins 5 others with disabilities on a trip around Europe. So look out for him there!

Check out Jason on Instagram: @mylifewithwheels

Author:

Jules Rosenstein is a Bachelor of Science with a major in physiology from the University of Melbourne. His personal ambition is to improve himself and others holistically through motivation, discipline and education. He is currently studying a Masters Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition.