As we continue to celebrate Disability Pride Month, we're shining a light on and sharing the incredible creativity and powerful experiences of our disabled creator community.
In this week's TikTok Creator Spotlight series, we're profiling @shelbykinsxo, a model on a mission to change the conversation around fashion and beauty. Shelby has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and uses her platform to advocate for more disability representation and inclusion in the industry.
Shelby posts engaging and educational videos on what it is like to live with a disability. She doesn't shy away from tricky questions, and regularly offers advice about what her followers can do to support the disabled community and tackle ableism - inspiring us all in the process!
From providing advice on how you can support Disability Pride Month to how to raise awareness about Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Shelby's aim is to educate the TikTok community and break down misconceptions around disability. She's recently taken her activism one step further and launched a petition to advocate for children to be educated on disability in schools, and has been keeping her followers regularly updated on how she has been getting on. What a woman and what an inspiration!
We sat down with Shelby to understand more about what inspires her...
What does Disability Pride Month mean to you?
Disability Pride Month to me is a time where disabled voices are heard. We are able to talk about these issues that we go through and the troubles we face day to day living in a world that wasn't built for us. We want people to listen; we don't want to talk over us, we just want our voices to be heard and amplified. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know or are aware of Disability Pride Month so they are unable to help, but hopefully, the more we talk about it, the more that there will be a change in the future.
What do you love most about TikTok?
I love the fact that I can be so creative and that I can use my platform to reach so many people even if they don't follow me. I feel like the platform is a good place to raise awareness about topics whilst also having fun!
Why is TikTok right for your content?
As a disabled person, I often don't have the energy to film really long videos and spend hours editing them. But with TikTok it's so quick and snappy that I could create loads of content in one day and then post them throughout the week. Or I could just post a couple of videos a day and still have loads of energy.
What is your favourite recent challenge or track on TikTok?
My favourite trend/sound is ehe te nandayo - I spent hours going through all the videos just crying/laughing to myself hahaha!
What is your goal on TikTok?
My goal on TikTok is continue to grow my platform and educate people on disabilities and ableism .
What else is on your TikTok For You feed?!
On my TikTok for you page is mainly millennials having a break down or cute relationship videos - very different!
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
I have so many that it's hard to choose but my favourite one is probably rating ableist comments that I have received. It was educational and everybody thought it was hilarious.