Godless Grad Student

news and reflections from an active atheist and disabled graduate student

Wheelchair Sex Appeal

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The Sundance Channel has a new reality series featuring a diverse cast of attractive women who use wheelchairs for mobility due to paralysis.  The show is called “Push Girls” and it will be airing for the first time on June 4th.  I’ve watched a number of interviews and previews online and I have to admit I’m skeptical that this will be a good thing for those of us who use wheelchairs as well.

It’s refreshing to hear of a positive portrayal of people with disabilities.  It would be amazing if more of society would see the person and not the chair.  It would be incredible if even only a handful of people considered the capabilities of the next person they met with a disability rather than dismissing them due to their preconceived notions of limitations.  I’m just not sure the Hollywood-fashion-drenched-drama-induced reality-tv version is exactly what the community needs.  Most of the press, while positively reviewing the show, has used negative stereotypes such as the term “wheelchair bound” (such as here, here, and here.)  I certainly applaud the women featured, but I have to admit one of the first things I noticed was their expensive chairs… and then their clothes and then their cars… and then their homes.  Most people with disabilities don’t live that way.  Most people with disabilities don’t have the advantages indicated by the sneak peaks and reviews.

I don’t have cable so I’ll likely not see the show until it’s online and I know that it’s hard to judge a show from previews and interviews.  Regardless, I hope the show occasionally shows the real reality and difficulties of life with a disability and not just relationship drama and corporate placements.

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Written by godlessgradstudent

May 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Posted in disability

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