Lila Moss Makes Strides on the Runway

By Maggie Peknic

Copy Editor

When asked about what one knows about Type 1 diabetes, most of Gen Z’s answers will involve Nick Jonas. I mean, who can forget when Nick talked about his diagnosis on the Jonas Brothers’ “Living the Dream Series,” which appeared in between shows on Disney Channel? But it’s time to add a new name to the diabetic community: Lila Moss.

The daughter of supermodel Kate Moss, Lila Moss followed in her mother’s footsteps, quite literally. Lila walked the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week during the Fendi x Versace show, dubbed “Fendace.” But her gold, baroque-style jacket and bodysuit were not the only statement pieces. On her upper left thigh, Lila supported her Omnipod, a tubeless insulin pump. 

After the show, Lila posted a slideshow of photos from the event on Instagram. Her caption simply stated her gratitude towards her team and made no mention at all regarding her insulin pump. But that didn’t stop people from noticing it. Numerous comments stating their praise and inspiration flooded Lila’s post. “Absolutely love that you don’t hide your pod, you’re an inspiration to so many living with T1 diabetes,” one commenter wrote. Another commented, “As a fellow T1 diabetic (and ex model), THANK YOU for wearing your device on the freaking runway! You are a queen and I want these pics everywhere cos the more we share of T1 diabetes the better.” 

Without the visibility of her pump, Lila’s condition may have been invisible to most of her fans. Last August in an interview with The Kit, Lila was asked if there was something that most people didn’t know about her. “I think not many people know that I have diabetes,” she opened up. “It’s not visible from the outside, so no one would really know just by looking at you.” Without the visibility of pumps, diabetes is an invisible disease. Even those with pumps tend to hide it, placing the pump on areas of the body that can strategically be hidden by clothes. This desire to hide one’s insulin pump can stem from a number of reasons: the desire to appear “normal,” to avoid stares and questions, self-esteem issues, etc. A study done by the American Diabetes Association proves this point, finding that “women were more concerned than men about body image and social acceptance with pump use.” But Lila broke these concerns, wearing her pump on the runway. In that moment, she became an inspiration to those who are self-conscious about their pump.

Not only did Lila become an inspiration, but she is also spreading awareness about the disease. There is a stigma that diabetes comes strictly from poor eating and poor exercise; however, this is not the case. According to the CDC, Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, genetics, or an environmental response. However, most people don’t know as much about Type 1, since only 5-10% of people with diabetes have Type 1. The condition causes one’s pancreas to make little to no insulin, which is the hormone needed to convert sugar into energy. Without insulin, a diabetic’s sugar remains in the bloodstream, which can result in high blood sugars, whose effects include extreme thirst, blurred vision, weight loss, and fatigue, and can also result in diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition. In order to avoid this condition, insulin medication is given to diabetics. Medication can be given in one of two ways: insulin pens or insulin pumps. Additionally, diabetics use a glucose meter to test their blood sugar throughout the day. There is a chance you don’t take enough insulin, and your blood sugar gets too high. You need to check your blood sugar with a meter to make sure it stays in a regulated range. One choice for a glucose monitor is to use a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor), which is a sensor that stays on your body. Lila also wears a CGM, but it was not visible during this catwalk. 

Given that I am also Type 1 diabetic, I just have to state my opinion on this matter. The fashion industry, although in recent years it has attempted to be more inclusive, is still very uniform. Lila helped to break that mold by putting her pump on display, giving many, including myself, a confidence boost about their pump. Yet, despite all this recognition and praise regarding her pump, Lila didn’t mention it at all in her Instagram post. Maybe she knew she didn’t have to–it’s not a common sight, so she knew people would point it out. In everyday life, even not on the runway, people point it out. It’s a double-edged sword: it’s great because you bring awareness to your condition, but at the same time, you wish it wasn’t such a big deal. Maybe Lila feels the same way? Either way, Lila made some serious strides within the diabetic community on the runway at Milan Fashion Week. 

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