Here at Slick Chicks we believe our ambassadors are the forefront of our success. Our ambassadors are chosen based on their impactful missions to help better society and better themselves in the process. Our ambassadors are dedicated to their communities and for that (and more), we are proud to have them as the main representatives of our brand.
Allison Lang is a speaker, athlete, model, solo-female traveller, and strong advocate for body-inclusivity. She is a congenital amputee, meaning she was born missing the lower half of her left leg from birth, but that hasn’t stopped her.
How do you spiritually prepare yourself for each day? Do you have a mantra or
meditation you do if things ever become overwhelming?
Yes, I believe setting yourself up for a successful day from the minute you wake up is the most important! I always start my day with a coffee (or two!), it’s the part of my morning I look forward to the most. I then sit with my coffee and my journey by my window. I’m a list person, so I’ll write out a list of tasks I want to accomplish that day, week, month, or year. This journal is a place filled with accomplishments, aspirations, and affirmations. I truly think that writing at least one thing down a day that you love about yourself and/or are excited for yourself moving forward helps you mentally prepare for the day! It definitely boosts my confidence and motivation and I’m sure it will for you too! I have been feeling more overwhelmed as of lately, I must admit, I’ve been keeping myself very busy and sometimes worry that I don’t have enough hours in a day. For this, I’d say my mantra is “your obstacle is your opportunity.” I’ve said that to myself since I was young in regard to getting over the insecurity of my leg and still use it to this day because we can use things as a lesson or stepping stone for growth.
How do you empower yourself?
Years ago, I used to write things I loved about myself on my bedroom mirror. I challenged myself to write at least one new thing a day. Not only physical compliments, but affirmations about my mind, personality, and those in my life. For example: I have a supportive group of girlfriends; I’m incredibly funny, you’re adventurous, etc.
As an athlete and professional model, how has your experience in both industries empowered you personally?
Honestly, being an athlete and a professional model have both presented me with challenges. I am proud to say that the issues they’ve presented me did not hold me back and in turn have made me stronger! When I was really young, I would be left out or chosen last for sports and/or games in school. This motivated me to PROVE to others that I could, in fact, keep up and even excel and do a better job than them. This mentality led me to trying out for Team Canada’s Sitting Volleyball Team with zero volleyball experience, but was determined to learn the sport and become an asset on the Team. Since, I have travelled internationally and represented my country in global tournaments. I’ve only become a model more recently, which has been really exciting that some companies and brands do what to represent ALL-bodies. I believe representation is key, it’ll expose society to different kinds of people which will normalize diversity and therefore lead to a (hopefully) more inclusive world. I recently modeled for a girls clothing line and the response to that ad was so powerful from my community. I was receiving messages from younger amputees stating “Yay! I am so happy to see you, a girl that looks like me, in an ad for my favorite clothing store!” And that to me right there is what empowers me, my goal is to be a role model for the younger generation because I never had anyone to look up to when I was young with a body like mine.
How do you process and deal with any critics you may have?
Some days are tougher than others, I’m not bulletproof as much as I wish I was. However, I’ve had such nasty things said to me throughout my life that I’ve developed thicker skin. I’m happy to share that I rarely receive anything mean now, and if I do I just remind myself that I have a family and friends that love and support me. Normally those that criticize aren’t worth your time anyway and they have their own stuff to work through.
Where does your overall determination come from?
I have to thank my parents, one-thousand percent. From the day I was born, the doctor told them there was something wrong with me: I was born with one leg. My parents’ then asked how my internal organs were and the doctor responded that they were all fine, and my parents’ replied “then there is no issue then.” They raised me like any other child, throwing me into swim lessons and soccer from a very young age. They encouraged and supported me when I wanted to try something new, like snowboarding and rock climbing. Through the tough times of being bullied in school, my mom threatened to go to the news if something wasn’t done. Their dedication to giving me autonomy and standing up for me at any measure or extreme has carried over into my adult years, I want to try absolutely everything and I won’t take shit from anyone! If I’m told no, I’ll find a way to prove them wrong and do it anyway :)
What is your relationship with social media?
I’m pretty present on social media, but this year I've set a boundary for myself. I’m active to the point I am comfortable and then disengage when I’m not. I share my story and write vulnerable captions about my experiences that others can relate to in order to help them overcome any internal challenges as well. I love doing that! However, I am aware that social media can be dangerous to my mental health, so I took it upon myself a few years ago to unfollower any accounts that made me doubt myself or made me feel insecure (even subconsciously comparing affects your mental health). Now, I only follow friends, family, and other accounts that lift me up and positively impact my perspective on life!
Why does representation matter for you?
Representation is so important to me! And should be important to everyone! I cannot express it enough. People with disabilities make up the largest minority group world-wide; therefore, properly representing us will not only normalize, but educate others about different types of disabilities. I have my teaching certificate, so this is my teacher brain talking, but I noticed a significant positive impact in the way my students would treat others with disabilities or even those singled out once I disclosed that I was physically disabled. They get to first hand see someone with a disability, how it affects them, and how they live a fulfilled life! This is the best life lesson of all, learning from those around you. And don’t we want to build kinder and more empathetic children? Representation needs to be authentic and true. I’m tired of able-bodied people playing or being casted for disabled-roles in movies or on tv. They need to hire disabled actors that can purely represent what living with that disability looks like because at the end of the day a wheelchair user can’t get out of that chair when their work day is done and walk home.
In what ways do you believe the fashion industry needs to change in regards to body inclusivity?
THERE IS STILL SO MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT *clap clap* Sorry, this question gets me fired up. I believe we are on the road to improving this, but there is so much work to be done. First, the fashion industry needs to cast models of all genders, colour, ethnicity, ability, disability, etc. not only when they need to fill their “diversity quota.” No, you do not get a pat on the back when you include one BIPOC member or disabled person every once in a while. We all have bodies don’t we? So don’t use unique bodies as a pawn in your game for filling gaps where you lack in diversity. I’m hoping that those in the fashion industry truly value catering to ALL bodies and not a specific one, so it’ll show when they're being authentic and genuine about it. We can tell!
Representation isn’t only important in the forefront of the fashion industry, but also behind the scenes. Send surveys to those with disabilities to calculate how their clothing or beauty products can become more inclusive. Ask those with disabilities how their stores or clothing can become more accessible - because I guarantee as an able-bodied designer you think the piece is accessible or the store is easy to maneuver through, but it’s probably not.
What do you love about Slick Chicks?
I love the community Slick Chicks has created! It’s a community of support, love, and inclusion. A simple, everyday garment that we all wear was adapted to everyone who would wear it… and that is genius.