Ableism is alive and well.

There was no way that I could let the weekend by without giving my opinion on the front cover for Interview’s December/January edition featuring Kylie Jenner. For anyone that hasn’t seen it yet, here you go.

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Since the cover was released Interview have responded to the backlash they have received by saying

Landscape photography

The image itself had reference to the aforementioned Allen Jones who is known for his artwork which depicts women in submissive positions and even being portrayed as furniture. What infuriates me about the image is that for some reason the wheelchair is being used as a tool to portray weakness, dependency and passivity. Just because I am in a wheelchair does not make me any of those things.

I know that I am not the first female wheelchair user to air my views about this and the overwhelming message that you get from all the different responses is the same. My wheelchair gives me nothing but freedom and independence. Without my chair I would be housebound. I would never have been able to get my job. I would never have been able to go to university. I would never have even been able to finish school. My chair has allowed me to live the life that any 21 year old should get to experience. So to have it used as a way to portray the limitations that being famous has on Kylie Jenner is nothing other than outrageous.

In all honesty I really don’t think that Kylie Jenner herself is really to blame for this. She’s only just turned 18 and I’m sure we can all agree that at 18 we probably didn’t always do or say the right things. The blame, in my eyes, lies in the hands of the people who decided that this would be a great idea for a photoshoot. It lies with the people who took the photos. It lies with the people who looked at the edits and decided they were acceptable to be in the magazine. It lies with the people who decided it was fine for this image to be on the front page of their magazine.

The reason I started this blog is almost the same reason that I am writing this now. There is far too much ignorance surrounding disability. I would like to know if any of the designers/editors/photographers spoke to any wheelchairs users when this was planned. Because as far as I’m concerned my wheelchair allows me to do whatever the hell I want and the reason that I sometimes end up at a disadvantage is because society judges and deems it “hard work” to accommodate disability. I am the first person to say that the world is coming along in leaps and bounds to make the necessary adjustments that disability requires but this proves that we still have a way to go yet.

3 thoughts on “Ableism is alive and well.

  1. Without my wheelchair I could not get out of my bed and there I would have to stay for the rest if my life!!!! My chair is my legs it is that simple…. I don’t think that people really understand that….

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