All Bodies Are Beautiful…including Disabled Bodies

I have had ups and downs with the Facebook page “Women’s Rights News”, due to occasional racist people on the page, or something more recently noticed something else. While they are often very inclusive, there has always been one minority that they and many other places seem to forget about: The disabled.

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But this page isn’t the only one who seems to forget about disabled people in their “Every body is beautiful” campaigning. When you google “All Bodies Are Beautiful”, you will see something very obvious: No disabled people.

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You will find thousands of photoshoots, drawings, artwork for thousands of body types, and in that maybe 2 or three including someone in a wheel chair or someone using a cane. Where are all the disabled people? Representation matters. When they came out with a line of American Girl dolls featuring wheel chairs, hearing aids, insulin pumps, etc. everyone celebrated! Why? Because at a young age children look around and try to connect with media and the people around them to feel accepted. When there are no bodies in media that positively represent them, they will start to view themselves negatively. The world has come a long way in representation. We saw this in The Force Awakens where they made nearly $130 million in opening night, with the lead stars being PoC and Women. At Cons you will see tons of black boys cosplaying as Finn and tons of girls as Rey. This representation matters.

So when there is no positive representation in media for disabled bodies and disabled children are only used for people’s inspiration porn*, children with disabilities will not understand your poor excuses, they will only blame their disabilities. Moral of the story: If you are going to claim all bodies are beautiful, you need to include disabled bodies in that campaign.

 

 

*Inspiration Porn: The term inspiration porn was coined by people with disabilities, used to describe when they are called inspirational solely or in part on the basis of their disability.  (Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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