It is known that there is a lack of diverse representation in today’s media. In more recent years, people have been fighting to make the representation beyond healthy, attractive white people more dominant. While some progress has been made, this is still an issue that needs to be challenged more.
Big buck companies have what may seem like the greatest control over resolving this issue. They fund the advertisements and television programming where we see people defining the “norms of society”. Their advertisements and televised material reach mass amounts of people, and that is why we assume they control the great change that we are reaching for.
However, with the relatively new power force of social media, we are beginning to realize that we can use the internet to reach more people than ever before. With hashtags and the the production of personal content made accessible to the public online, many of us can easily share our opinions with just the tap of a screen.
A Mashable article written by Katie Dupere covered this idea by looking into the hashtag that went viral called #DisabledAndCute. This hashtag stormed through Twitter and encouraged members of the “Twitterverse” living with disabilities to share photos of themselves that they loved.
This Twitter movement helped remind users that despite their disability, they were still just as beautiful as the people they see in magazines and on screen. Dupere described the movement as allowing people to combine “revolutionary self-love with unapologetic visibility”.
A side observation I had after reading this article was that often times, people with disabilities are overlooked when trying to equalize representation in the media in terms of what is an “attractive social norm”. In many cases people are trying to fight for equality among races and genders, but forget about much beyond those two categories.
People from all walks of life suffer from disabilities, and some of these disabilities are noticeable while some are not. Keah Brown was the Twitter user who created the hashtag. Brown lives with Cerebral palsy, while another Twitter user Danielle Perez is missing two legs and lives in a wheelchair.
There are so many disabilities that people all over the world suffer from, and unfortunately many of them are told by the media that they’re “undesirable and broken” because they are not portrayed as much beyond their disability in the media.
How untrue and cruel is it to let people suffering from disabilities believe that they aren’t beautiful because of what makes them different? Peoples disabilities aren’t the be all of who they are, but it is a big part of who they are so they should not feel that they should conceal that about themselves.
This hashtag helped spread the self-love I love promoting and was super effective!
Mashable Article: Dupere, Katie. “People with Disabilities Destroy Stigma on Twitter with #DisabledAndCute.” Mashable. Mashable, 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.