Social Ladder of Little People, the Disabled and Puerto Ricans

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

What do Puerto Ricans, disabled people and dwarfs have in common? Give up? They are all at the bottom of the social ladder. According to Real Housewives of Orange County, Bravo’s newest reality show, the Puerto Rican is actually a step above the other two.

The reality show’s premise is to observe a group of shallow women succumbing to the fake images that are on every cover of fashion magazines. In this episode, a group of women at an insurance conference discuss about the previous night’s wild antics when one woman questions what her husband will think when he finds out that she danced with a Puerto Rican man.

Then her friend chimes in that her friend also danced with a man in a wheelchair and a dwarf so the Puerto Rican is actually an improvement.

Now here is the catch. Where do I fit in this social ladder? Is there a special rung for a Colombian American wheelchair bound female less than 4 feet tall?

I stayed up last night to catch the rerun episode after reading about it in a yahoo group. Today I searched to see if anyone had written a blog post about their politically incorrect, ignorant, shallow, and bigoted comments. I found nothing.

There were no boycotts or protests. I didn’t read about any demands for an apology from the producers and the OC housewives.

Are we supposed to laugh at their insults? Are we supposed to say it is all in good fun

? Why the silence? Is it because we really believe that that is where we belong in the social ladder; at the bottom?

If we make an enormous ruckus about it will we be considered too weak or sensitive, unable to take a joke? Will we be known as uptight people unable to laugh at ourselves?

When I say “we” I don’t mean only the disabled or only the little people or only the Puerto Ricans. “We” means everyone who is or knows a disabled person or a little person or a Puerto Rican.

With all these politically correct standards how did these rich white wenches slip through the cracks?

How are we supposed to educate our future about tolerance and acceptance when the so called elite find themselves in front of a television crew snubbing their plastic surgical noses down at people with different cultural and physical features than them?

I don’t know if I am more disappointed in us for staying quiet, not writing emails or letters to express our disgust in their distaste for entertainment or in these pathetic women who have too much money and not enough education to realize that one day they can be disabled too or they can have a child who will one day marry a little person or a Puerto Rican or a disabled person or maybe (good grief!) someone with all three traits.

As I have sometimes said, I would rather be smart and disabled than walking and stupid. It is obvious that the housewives don’t have a place on my social ladder.