Times they are a-changing!
Most people aren’t a fan of change but some change is good. Think about; when you go shopping and see modals on the walk or on billboards, when you are watching TV or scrolling through social media. What one thing do they all have in common? The fact that you are more likely to see an able bodied person over a disabled person.
There are over 1 billion people on the planet living with some form of a disability. That’s 1 billion people not represented fairly or equally in the mass media that we consume on a daily basis.
There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as mire
-Robert M. Hensel
Representation is important but it is also important to have an equal amount of representation across all mediums.
The good news here is that there have been an increase in the numbers of stores who are moving away from the ”one size fits all” attitude and are moving more towards catering for all body types. This is exactly the type of change we like to see.
Only recently when out shopping did I see a more inclusive representation in Primark and other stores like:
- Marks & Spencer’s
- Tommy Hilfiger
It may not seem like a big deal to most people but when you are out shopping, how many time has the mannequin caught your eye or given you a creative idea to put that shirt with this skirt? Because of that photo or that modal you where able to picture yourself in those clothes and you wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
For those living with a disability, this isn’t the same experience. So, to try help everyone understand a little better here is Ollie. A young boy born with Caudal Regression Syndrome who recognized someone like him in a store in the USA and he felt amazing.
Sadly, throughout the history of film and TV, disabled people have been wrongly stereotyped. Being used as a punchline or have had non-disabled actors played disabled characters.
However, the more people that speak up about the ableism in the film industry, the more we see an increase in authentic characters with disabilities in movies and tv shows that us all some real perspective into the lives of disabled people
A great example of TV shows and movies that have nailed this are:
- The Politian
- The Healing Powers of Dude
- Deaf U
These are just a few and hopefully there are many more to come!
Social media is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. The vast majority of those in our society have some form of social media channel. It has such a strong influence on all of our lives. This is why we need to make sure that the people we uplift are ones that will shine a light on different aspect on the community and not spread negativity.
There are countless people on the internet that have been using their platforms to educate both disabled and able bodied followers about the facts and busting the myths. These people are essential in helping to break down walls and stigmas surrounding disabilities by sharing their struggles, accomplishments and their individual experiences.
These people have created a safe space to share and be inspired by for many other disabled people who are going through the same or similar situations. By doing this, we can see that everyone is different and no two people with the same disability go through the same experiences. We can all learn from each other and celebrate out differences. This way we can all come together as one to make sure everyone is seen, hear and acknowledged on our communities.