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12 May 2021
UK fashion retailer ASOS was recently praised for including a model wearing a cochlear implant — a device that bypasses the inner ear and sends sound signals directly to the auditory nerve.
The model is Natasha Ghouri, who was born deaf and models both clothing and accessories for ASOS. The image that caught Twitter's attention wasn't a special feature focused on inclusion or the deaf community; it's a regular product shot of a GBP 5 mushroom-shaped earring, and the blond woman wearing it just happens to have a cochlear implant, too.
Definitely not crying because of @ASOS using an earring model with a hearing aid 😭 It's the first time I've ever seen a model with a hearing impairment, let alone an earring model and its so refreshing to see this kind of representation for people like me 😍— asia (@asiasmith_16) April 13, 2021
Considering the WHO estimates that 6.1% of the world's population has 'disabling' hearing loss, it really shouldn't be this unusual to see a model wearing a hearing device. Kudos to ASOS for slipping in a bit of inclusivity and representation without any fanfare. It's a small and simple act that should be easy for other brands to follow!