Society’s definition of beauty has become more shallow as the years have gone by. The media and magazines have defined beauty. The standard is to be tall and thin with a perfect face. This standard of beauty has only further excluded those that are different including people with disabilities.
There is very little representation of the disability community in the media and society is not being educated on what inclusion truly means. The reality is that the media is the place where most people get their information and that information helps to shape their opinions.
The reality is that it is actually rare for someone to come in contact with a disabled person in their every day life. The first exposure they may have to a person with a disability will be via the media.
It is time to redefine the meaning of beautiful in our society today. This must begin in the home but sadly the education is happening through the media.
I want to highlight five examples of how the disabled community is being represented in the media. YouTube has come to be a very large part of culture and has at times taken the place of television for many people and has opened the door to many opportunities for the disabled community to gain a foot in the media world. It may not be the big screen, but it is a very good start.
Six Blind Kids
Karen and Joe adopted six children over the years. They are all totally blind and 5 of them have other special needs. This family gives the world a look into their life. They show the world that a person who is blind can be independent. The kids are adults except for one and they make it a point to instill independence in each of them. This is evident in the videos they share. Get a glimpse into their lives.
The Killen Clan
This family adopted two children with special needs and share a glimpse into their life through videos on YouTube. They share the good and the hard days and share the reality of it all. Altogether, they have 3 children with special needs.
Special Books by Special Kids
Chris Ulmer started Special Books by Special Kids as a way to provide a voice for people with disabilities whether visible or invisible. He wants to bring attention to their stories and has gained a large audience. Here is an episode.
Let’s Make the Change
There are many other people with disabilities making their voices heard and breaking into the media. We can all contribute to further inclusion by spreading the word about these creators. I hope that one day disability will be seen as a beautiful and valuable aspect of society.