Summer Gibson – Style & Scoliosis

I have always loved fashion, from my crazy outfit pairings of leopard print leggings and bright red doc Martin boots as a toddler (I still kind of love my younger self’s bold fashion choices) to starting my styling blog on Instagram, inspired by the community on the social media app, especially the women of my hometown Brighton who share their unique style around the vibrant city.

When I was 15, I was diagnosed with an S-shaped scoliosis curve. For many people diagnosed with scoliosis, it is not only the physical impact of the condition that is difficult, but also the effect it has on body image. I try not to let scoliosis dictate my style – yes, some items might fit differently, but it’s about making the clothes work for you – both in terms of comfort and style.

As time has gone on the support from my Instagram community means I’ve let go of the insecurities of not wearing something ‘because of my back’ – my favourite outfit from last year was my backless jumpsuit! The world of social media can have both negative and positive effects on body image, so it’s important to think about how to use these platforms as a positive tool wherever possible. I always recommend strongly thinking about the people who you follow on apps such as Instagram carefully. Curate your feed by following those creators and brands that inspire you, uplift you and help to put you in a positive mindset. For me, creating different outfit styles and sharing with my Instagram community has become a brilliant creative outlet and a huge part of my work life too. I love thinking about new ways to style staple pieces in my wardrobe, and it’s also given me the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and share my own experiences. There is space for everyone to share their own style story online – and you never know who that might help, many people will have shared similar experiences.

Here’s to breaking down the barrier between what we think we should wear and what we want to wear, and on our own terms.

Follow Summer on instagram -@summeregibson

If you would like to talk further about any aspect of scoliosis, SAUK is here to help; please call our helpline or contact us via post or using our e-mail address info@sauk.org.uk.