Meet Cayetana Uranga, Disability Advocate and Designer

Cayetana was born in 1985 in Lima, Peru during the Shining Path insurgence. Unpredictable circumstances resulted in her being born with cerebral palsy (CP); the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck in such a way that she lost oxygen to the brain.

As a disability advocate, she says: “Having CP has not stopped me from doing everything I wanted. Ever since I was little girl, my mother never treated me any differently than my sisters. I grew up with the attitude of ‘yes, I can,’ and I was a determined kid. CP has just made the journey and the ‘how to’ a little longer; maybe a little harder.

I grew up with the attitude of ‘yes, I can’

 
Cayetana Uranga


Photos: Gary James

I was lucky to have a great experience at all my school levels and ever since I was a teenager, I loved fashion; I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up, and I pursued my dreams. I went to Lynn University to study Fashion Management, and I enjoyed every minute of it, going to fashion shows and learning about the history of fashion.

I wanted to be a fashion designer, and I pursued my dreams

Once I graduated college, I opened my own bikini shop and called it Lolita’s Beachwear, but life takes you on a journey, and I was struggling after a breakup and my store was closing when my sister and my best friend encouraged me to share my story with the world.

I used to “hide” my disability. I know it’s impossible to hide, but I used to hide it on social media; I never put videos of myself and if in a photo, I was showing my CP, I would have never posted the picture.

I used to “hide” my disability on social media

As challenges go, every aspect of my life has posed a challenge, but as I mentioned before, the “how to” may be longer, a little harder, but achievable.

July is Disability Pride Month, which is celebrating its 32nd year after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. Accepting my disability was something that I had to overcome to love all of me and in return receive the love I deserve back.

I started an Instagram and TikTok account called @justcpnotspecial just a few months ago to bring my awareness about CP and individuals, like me, who live with it.

In some of my videos, I showcase how I adjust clothing to my disability. For example, buttons are challenging to me so I turn them into clips or I show how to put on a bra in a different way. I hope future fashion designers are open to diversity and keep us in mind when designing clothing, broadening your minds to the different challenges faced by persons with disabilities.

I’m currently working on opening my website to tell my story and my goal is to be an example and help young persons like me, with CP, in every way I can so that they can achieve their goals and personal satisfaction. I want to tell them never to be ashamed to show who you are because you are you and that is perfect.

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Learn More

@justcpnotspecial

With love,

FWO