Too often health issues and fashion aren't part of the same conversation. Models are depicted as "perfect," typically meaning the things that make them human, including their medical issues, are erased. However, famous model and Kate Moss' daughter, 19-year-old Lila Moss, challenged this idea by sporting a glucose monitor on her arm for a fashion partnership with Fendi and Versace. She's reflecting her beauty, style and a glimpse into her experience as a diabetic. Her goal is to show her glucose monitor to help "normalize" representation of the diabetes community, here's how she approached this goal and how people have responded.
Lila Moss Praised For Wearing Her Glucose Monitor In New Fashion Campaign
Moss knows that her health struggles aren't physically visible.
Few people knew about Moss's diabetes until she started the conversation — a conversation she could have potentially avoided. Despite stigma, she decided with so many fans and followers, it's important to reflect her real life, especially for those also handling life with diabetes, too.
She hopes to be an authentic role model.
While Moss didn't go into detail when captioning the Instagram photo, her message was received. Others with diabetes feel seen and supported by her post and have voiced their appreciation of her sharing a part of herself that may not be as "glamorous" as some people believe models should always be. She shows that authenticity is pretty much the best fashion trend ever, and we couldn't agree more.
Moss has type 1 diabetes.
Even for those that don't have diabetes, Moss's post is an important opportunity for to learn more about the disease. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, which is what Moss has, is passed down genetically and is typically diagnosed at a young age. With this type, the immune system attacks the cells producing insulin to the pancreas. Type 2 often develops over time due to particular lifestyle choices and environmental conditions. Both types use glucose monitors, which are often placed on wearable devices or smart phones to calculate glucose levels regularly. Diabetes is something that impacts Moss's daily life and the lives of many others.
She even wore an insulin pump and monitor during the Met Gala.
It's no secret, when it comes to the Met Gala, stars and celebs go hard with fashion. While Moss went with the usual designer outfit for the 2022 Met Gala, which was a sheer nude Burberry gown---she did something to break conviction. Odd enough, the thing that had her making headlines for a unique fashion statement was being herself and wearing an insulin pump and monitor (which are normal for diabetics) at the Gala. In fact, this wasn't even her first time wearing it to a formal event and even on the runway, as she's someone that prioritizes her diabetes care, even in the fashion world.
Moss says her glucose monitor "comes with her everywhere".
Whether people can see it or not, Moss keeps her glucose monitor close at hand. Even if it seems like an odd thing to bring on the runway with her, she wants people to understand the importance of managing health and being transparent about who they are. It seems like a lot of work to hide or ignore her glucose monitor and diabetes while under the public eye, so we're def on board for her to shout it from the rooftops and do her thing.
People admire Moss's challenge of mainstream beauty.
Beauty standards in America are based on able-bodied Eurocentrism that work together to present one type of beautiful when beauty is boundless, intersectional, and dynamic. For people who don't fit into the mold of mainstream beauty, life can feel isolating. Yet, when they see big names like Lila Moss defying stigma and showing that diabetes and beauty intersect —they feel seen. Basically, embracing people with diabetes for who they are while also viewing them as talented and attractive people is never going to go out of style.
Some people think diabetes tech is fashionable.
While it's a point of controversy, many believe that diabetes tech is an emerging fashion trend that's showing off a refreshing look that goes unexplored in the fashion world. However, it walks a fine line, as people reject their serious health issues being appropriated for the satisfaction of others and reduced to "trendy." Something that can be the difference between life and death goes much further than a fad. Representation may not necessarily mean co-opting a medical tool to achieve a certain look, but preferably allowing those that use it to feel safe in doing so. Moss is motivating many to engage in these conversations, possibly for the first time.
She wears a FreeStyle Libre Sensor.
At the Met Gala, people noticed her particular glucose monitor was a FreeStyle Libre Sensor, which is one of the options for those wishing to opt out of finger pricking monitor to draw blood. The Sensor scans the arm to provide a sugar level read and can be used for about 14 days. It was special for others with diabetes to recognize a familiar type of sensor that they may even use themselves. It did, however, raise discussion about how Moss is using an expensive sensor that many people with diabetes can't afford.
Moss also takes down diabetes stereotypes.
Some assume that people with diabetes are always dangerously overweight, have poor diets, and even "deserve" their disease. Yet, this isn't true for many--especially with type 1 diabetes. As a model, Moss must make sure she maintains a certain size with an eating and exercise regimen. The disease has no connection to her lifestyle and all to do with her genetics. Assigning blame and stigma to anyone with medical issues is pretty cringey, and Moss is pointing it out. Diabetes isn't a monolith and people are more than the assumptions that people make of them.
Hopefully, more noteworthy people follow in Moss' footsteps.
We love when someone breaks the mold and dares to be who they are, even if it's scary. Having the courage to reveal a vulnerable part of ourselves isn't easy, but it can inspire others to do the same. It would be great if more celebs and leaders that many of us adore shared experiences like this. After all, if people from all walks of life, especially historically erased communities, can't see it — they likely can't be it. We're so ready to channel our inner Lila Moss and own who are, and maybe even a cute outfit or two to really strut our stuff.
Let us know in the comments what you think of Moss's decision to wear her glucose monitor in the public eye and if you feel inspired by her representation.