I recently read an article about Paralympic athletes being replaced by able bodied models in Brazil’s edition of Vogue magazine . Instead of the actual athletes, they had one of the model’s arms “photoshopped” off, and the other model’s leg also amputated using Photoshop. The inspiration for the models? The actual two athletes. Why not just use the actual athletes, you ask? Brazil’s Vogue claimed the models were to help “sell more tickets.” Obviously, they didn’t think the actual athletes were “worthy” enough to sell the Paralympics, because disability and disabled models aren’t the “”norm”, but Vogue magazine and the media are part of the problem, part of the stigma. The only way that we can create more acceptance of disability, is to create change. Let US be the models, even if you think it “won’t sell. ” Let US tell the story. We know it and live it better than anyone else.
Ashley N. Moulin