It Takes One to Be One

My dear wife, knowing my hangup with the notion of the vast lack of disabled people in movies and on TV – and by that I mean actual disabled people, not muggles playing disabled characters – and passed this along to me. A post from The Dish, dealing with the idea of giving able-bodied actors parts about disabled characters. Mr. Sullivan writes, in part:

I know that the physical pain and challenges that come in the wake of disability, alongside the insensitivity and lack of understanding one encounters, are profound experiences that cannot be truly known until they are endured. Perhaps the worst feeling is when people avert their eyes. Even someone gawking is better than their looking away.

I’ve always likened the practice of giving disabled parts to muggle (non-disabled) actors to casting a white actor in blackface as a black person. Etc. The amount of understanding and depth a muggle actor can bring to the part of a disabled character is limited. The muggle actor can walk away at the end of the day – the disabled person cannot. Her pain, the difficulties she faces in every aspect of her life, are integral to who she is as a person. And a muggle actor will never be able to approach that aspect of the disabled life.

It is also inspiring to see J.C.Penny take such a huge risk (tongue firmly in cheek) with placing mannequins based on real humans with sizes and shapes not usually (not ever!) used to promote fashion.

And of course, I love “All About That Bass,” by Megan Trainor. Time for “All About Them Wheels?”


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