Monday 14 July 2008

Where do I begin…

It’s taken me much of the day to calm down enough to write this post in a way that is coherent, not a series of indignant squeaks… And what is on my chest today? The BBC’s latest programme – Britain’s Missing Top Model.

One day the BBC are going to tie their Politically Correct bloomers in an incredible knot and trip themselves up and I sincerely hope I am there to watch them do it. If I were director general of the BBC, I would have pulled this embarrassing farce of a programme off the schedule and headed down the pub for a swift half, in disguise, for fear of a deaf person kicking me on the shins.

The last episode saw a rather beautiful deaf girl get selected for a fashion show and a girl in a wheelchair, called Sophie, rant because deafness wasn’t a visible disability so it was unfair. What they failed to tell Sophie was that she had zero charisma at the casting regardless of the fact she was in a wheelchair and the deaf girl was brilliant.

This ‘poor me’ mentality drives me nuts – why should people who are crap at modelling get the chance to become models just because they’re disabled… ugly able-bodied people don’t get that chance? It has to be said that the two deaf girls are very pretty and yet they seem to be constantly discriminated against for not having a ‘real’ disability.

But this week really took the gold award for insensitivity. Sophie moaned non-stop about the deaf girls so much that the makers had the great idea of taking away their interpreter… because they wouldn’t always have access to one in the modelling world and foreign models cope so why can’t they?

*squeak of rage

This resulted in both the girls nearly missing a casting much to the joy of Sophie… but lets be honest here – would she have been smiling if she’d had to get by without her wheelchair and a taxi?

I very much doubt it.

If I wanted to become a model it would be tough – I wouldn’t hear the photographer shouting instructions, I couldn’t phone my agency every day about castings and this would be a disability. OK, it wouldn’t show in the pictures, but if the BBC wanted disabilities to show in pictures, they should have had a bigger think about who they put in this programme.

But the point is – I can’t become a model – I am too short, too wide and this is OK. I accept this. I am not deluded in thinking I can blame everything I can’t have in life on my disability. If I wasn’t deaf, I still couldn’t be a model. I couldn’t be an astrophysicist, a doctor, an acrobat or a ballet dancer either,
but that’s life – that’s not disability discrimination and it’s certainly not something that can be fixed with a crass, insensitive TV show.

For the sake of what dwindling sanity I have left, I am boycotting Britain’s Missing Top Model – otherwise I fear my flat screen TV may have a rather large platform trainer-shaped hole right in the middle of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Girly! Haven't watched a full episode of the prog for precisely the same reason that I would also throw something at the TV - hate it when people use something like a disability, the colour of their skin, religion, whatever, as an excuse for life not giving them what they want. Grrrrr!

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