Today, alas, today, it was the use (abuse) and handicapped kids in fashion advertising to promote the delusion of inclusion. It reminds me of the day when blacks were included in advertising as long as they were light skinned blacks. Blacks who were really dark-skinned reminded the masses of the agony of the years of ignominious slavery...can't do that, can we? So we carefully picked just the right shade of black and the right features so these folks who appeared with whites in fashion mags looked like darker skinned whites. Triggered the ever loving crap out of me.
|Delores Cortes, Spanish Designer|
I am watching fashionistas use handicapped disabled kids to promote their new lines of wear. First, light skinned blacks, then plus size women, now disabled kids. Is there no extreme that we will go to in order to make a buck? Here's the rub which triggers ever frayed nerve in my jangled tangle of neurons which even a valium won't abate.
|Our friends at Target|
First take the right kid...someone with Down Syndrome who is cuter, more adorable, more hugable than the highest angel in the heavens. Then take said child and use them to promote swimwear, to promote inclusive clothing in a chain store striving to break the corporate delusions of a Chick-fil-A or a Wendy's or a Limbaugh sponsor. The message is that we are so fuckin' good because we include the adorable disabled child.
Now this child has none of the pronounced features of a moderately severely DS child and could easily be mistaken for Sally down the street. The issue is not because of a commitment to disability awareness or the promotion of inclusion in society. The message is not that the lives of the severely disabled are worthy of life in the fullest. The message is we "luv" cute disabled kids and we want to to know this so you buy our product. The same is true of the purveyors of adaptive and assistive equipment...cute, well-groomed, almost normal looking kids. I know, and if you follow me in this blog, that all disabled kids, even the most severe are beautiful...I somehow think that society does not subscribe to our definition of beauty.
|And our friends at Nordstrom's|
|One cool dude...what's he selling?|