I remember listening to Giulia, when she was invited as a speaker by the British Chamber of Commerce in Milan, to talk about her experience and give her contribution towards a more inclusive workplace system.
I was together moved and thrilled when listening to her. It was back in Autumn 2019 and I was moving the first descreet steps into my “education” about diversity, disability issues and inclusion.
After that conference I met Giulia and her managers to discuss possible cooperations in raising awareness about all these topics and… the pandemic came and everything got stuck.
Ideas and deep positive values, though, know no stops nor bounderies and, when we decided to participate in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge I wanted Giulia to be part of it!
She was supposed to be one of the charachters but she would have been in the pool while we would have needed her on Zoom and… when you won dozens of medals around the world and the podium is your second home… well, acting is not probably among your priorities. But I was beyond happy when she accepted to model for The Focus Group and grab this chance!
So here she is, our Italian champion: Giulia Ghiretti!
Giulia is in the centre of the picture, on her wheel chair. you can tell she is by the pool. She is wearing a white one-piece swimming costume with a fuchsia zebra pattern and a face mask. Her arms are in a stretching position behind her head.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EASTERSEALS DISABILITY FILM CHALLENGE WITH US?
This was a new challenge for me and I’m not backing down! I like trying new things and I like challenges ☺
IN RECENT YEARS WE HAVE SEEN A BETTER REPRESENTATION OF SOCIETY IN TERMS OF GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND ETHNICITY BOTH ON BIG AND SMALL SCREENS; DO YOU THINK THE SAME CAN BE SAID ABOUT THE REPRESENTATION OF DISABILITIES?
In recent years there has certainly been an increase in attention to disability issues, but there is still a lot to be done. As a sportswoman, I am aware that the Paralympics in London brought disability onto the screen, and today you see more and more advertisements with disabled people. Though…this is only the beginning.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFICULTIES IN DEALING WITH A FASHION INDUSTRY THAT OFTEN FORGETS THAT WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME?
Giulia is shown on the right-hand side of the picture sitting on her wheelchair. she is smiling with her gaze upwards and her left arm resting on the wheel. Her black clothes are splashed with water from a hydrant. in the background a garden with green grass, trees and the sunset.
Yes, we are not all the same and I understand the difficulty for the fashion industry. Specifically, I have a lot of difficulty with the length of garments because, being seated, not everything fits properly. The biggest difficulty I would say is shoes…. Sometimes it’s really hard to put them on or to say no, to those that you like but are just impossible to wear.
TO ALL THOSE WHO LIVE WITH A DISABILITY AND ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THE COURAGE TO GET INVOLVED, TO ALL THOSE WHO LIVE THEIR DISABILITY WITH SHAME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE?
Don’t worry, we are all different! Each of us can do things that others don’t think of or will never be able to do, try getting dressed without using your legs, one arm or even both arms, who can? Or move around the house with lights off, many would bump into everything. All people have extraordinary qualities and abilities, you just have to find them and maybe sometimes you need help, but once you find them, you’re done! Discover yourself, test yourself and find your workhorse ☺
NAME THREE BRANDS THAT HAVE MADE YOUR LIFE EASIER AND ALWAYS MAKE YOU FEEL COOL!
Giulia is depicted lying on her side with her legs slightly bent forward and her face and body facing the camera. She is wearing a long, black, tight-fitting evening dress and her right arm resting on her hip. She is lying on the edge of a fountain. In the background, besides the fountain, there are red arched and city lights.
Pictures courtesy of Giulia Ghiretti.