Miss Ability: Exploit the Disabled?

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

It seems that the Dutch succeeded with a reality show starring people with physical disabilities and now the British want to follow suit. Should we be applauding their efforts to show equality in beauty pageants? Should we feel outrage at being exploited like the other women in able body beauty pageants?

Perhaps we should be more outraged that many people will see this as another form of freak entertainment. Ok. I don’t want to hear from people who are going to say, “Why must it be a freak show? Perhaps they really want to recognize our beauty like any other woman in the world.”

That’s a lovely sentiment, my dear. But, let’s get real. When you turn on the television, the commercials don’t have disabled women selling cosmetics, lingerie, cars or heck not even toothpaste. So now out of the blue we are sex goddesses to these viewers? Give me a break!

I could be all happy happy joy joy over the idea of a pageant that is for women with physical disabilities. In fact, I think the idea is great. But, sometimes it’s not the show that is in question but the people who are producing the show.

Are these people advocates for the physically disabled? Are their intentions good? Or are they trying to ride the bandwagon for other surreal television shows? That is the true question.

We know that this show can either give us a much needed positive image as equals in the beauty and sex race or it could have the world laughing at us for trying to be a square peg in a round whole world.

The devotees have flooded my email with words of overjoy! Finally, a show that focuses on what they want to see. Oh goody!

Since I am in America, I can only wait to see if America will follow Britain on this voyage to proclaim women on wheels as beauties or freaks of nature on wheels.

If we are to believe that a show like Miss Ability will be a push in the right direction, how do we measure its success.

The best way would be to see more real physically disabled women in commercials for products that aren’t solely for the physically disabled.

We should start seeing more real women in wheelchairs in clothing catalogs, motion pictures, and television shows as provocative and independent women not some victim of circumstances.

If these women on wheels start to appear in every day commercials then I am ready to see the fabulous sexy men on wheels!

We can only hope!

Agree or disagree? Email me at nathasha@audacitymagazine.com .