Disability in fashion and advertising

Exploring how disability is portrayed in the fashion industry, I found a series of images that shocked me. Helmut Newton photographed non-disabled supermodel Nadja Auermann for the February 1995 US edition of Vogue:

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Viktoria Modesta & The Alternative Limb Project

Interestingly enough, Stroud’s model Viktoria Modesta is a self-proclaimed “independent bionic multimedia artist, creative director, DJ and a supporter of future innovations.”

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Inclusion – Mainstream Media

Disability scholars cite the lack of disability appearing in mainstream advertising as one of the ways that disabled people are discriminated against, since it clearly denies their role as consumers. Although it could be argued that this is justifiable on the grounds that they have less purchasing power, Barnes (1991) contends that disabled people still do participate in the market, regardless of their financial circumstances. Continue reading “Inclusion – Mainstream Media”

Disability inclusion as parody of mainstream

In contrast to normalising disability by including it in the mainstream fashion industry, some artists are using mainstream tropes to make statements about disability and the portrayal of women in the media. Such imagery, Garland-Thomson (2005) claims, forces viewers to reconsider their notions of beauty, desirability and other life values. In such images the ‘mark of disability’ acts as punctum, refuting hitherto stereotypical images of disabled people as worthless victims, freaks or objects of pity and shame. Continue reading “Disability inclusion as parody of mainstream”