Society’s flawed standards of beauty!!!

12th February 2018
Posted in Blog
12th February 2018 geri

Society’s flawed standards of beauty!!!

Whilst writing a piece about sport and overcoming adversity I have become side-tracked on this tangent. Upon thinking extensively, I have realised sport is not the only area people with disabilities face such hardship and in order to overcome this adversity must show strength and courage to succeed. In previous blogs I have stated people with disabilities still have huge hurdles ahead of them in terms of demonstrating what accessibility really means and its application to everyday life. For example, inclusive work spaces would allow the capabilities of all to prevail and with reasonable adjustments to surroundings established careers and a means of contributing towards the economy could be a reality not only for non-disabled employees.

But unfortunately, a lack of visibility and affirmation of disabled individuals in the media and among those in power creates even more unnecessary misery. This deficit guides people into thinking that disabled people can’t be powerful, sexy or in control. Unfortunately, in society today, disability is still deemed undesirable, and disabled people are frequently looked upon as hard work and less sexy in general than their nondisabled peers. With disability, the representation is still woefully inadequate and just as we are no less competent in our fields of work, our body types are no less deserving than our fully functioning peers!!! In order to ensure that all body types know they are valuable, we must begin at the core of what is influencing the wider public or we might start to compare ourselves to media image ideals that are frequently airbrushed and not realistic. Deserving representation that stands alone is a must. Being exposed to more disabled people on public platforms and not shielding them away is at the foundation of how we can alter misconceptions about disabilities and negative body images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moreover, visibility influences feelings and if disabled people are only portrayed as weak and sickly, it becomes difficult for a viewer to see them in a positive light. They are powerless, resembling suffering, loss and hindrances. Also disabled characters being played by able-bodied actors, where is the acknowledgement of disabled representation? In 2018, you’d expect social attitudes to be evolving, that the benefits of having a diverse society apparent but in truth a much more refined approach to disability in our society is paramount. Regardless of our disabilities our skillsets are still intact and the government should focus on facilitating these. The benefits of having an assorted,fair society should be recognised with accessible employment opportunities implemented safely and correctly for all. In order to uplift, empower and encourage individuals with chronic illnesses, we must educate and raise our own awareness and only then can encouragement of conversation amongst others happen. Just representation is needed to change the public’s idea of what it means to be sexual, talented and disabled even by society’s flawed standards of beauty.

 

 

Comments (6)

  1. Patrick A.

    Hi Geri,

    Your point re. visibility on public platforms and its relationship to perception is a very powerful one. It’s about reinforcing the “ability” part of the word “disability”, and driving home that message through one’s everyday actions. In terms of society’s standards of beauty, I think we are seeing some slow developments there, through fashion models with disabilities such as Kelly Knox & Ashley Lauren Fisher.

    I’ve just discovered your blog via your recent Irish Times article. It’s brave, informative and practical. You are taking the discussion around disability to the next level.

    Having limited mobility in my legs due to a neurological condition, I still manage to live a relatively normal life, working full-time, parenting etc. Every day is about focusing on what I can do, rather than what I can’t do, pushing those boundaries and writing a new script and reality. In that context, your writing speaks clearly to me, and I think you have outstanding potential as an advocate for people with disabilities in 21st century Ireland. Keep up the good work!

    Regards
    Patrick A.

    • geri

      Hi Patrick,

      Thank you for your valuable insight. You are very correct about seeing slow developments an d thank you for reminding me as I forgot to mention this point in relation to disabled models at New York Fashion weekhttp://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/2/25/the-disabled-models-of-new-york-fashion-week.html. Great to see!!!
      I am very pleased to hear you are doing great and that is what I am striving for- a career and a family. Thank you once again for reading.

      Best wishes, Geri

  2. Hello Geri

    I really liked yr published article’s and yr blog, you have a nice writing style, flows like a stream on the page. The description of anxiety left a strong impression, my son recently became a type 1 diabetic and although not on the upper scale of a disability it’s life changing, he was pretty much a normal 10yr old before the genetic lottery kicked in, now it’s lots of hospital appointments and set mealtimes – 24hr monitoring, but the tears and anxiety that came with it can never be underestimated, if you could convert anxiety to crypto currency disability could fund itself.

    Ireland has a long way to go, especially in social housing and disability spending. It’s difficult to imagine that the system would presume you wouldn’t want your own house near a large town especially as a young person, a wait and see approach, its so outdated. 13% of Ireland fits the disability criteria, but of course most governments waist 10% of GDP on failed projects anyway, it’s a spending issue also. Ireland makes around 250 million in property tax alone, even 10% of that towards disability housing would be a grt start. The resources are always there but brave politicians need only make adjustments at budget time. Embrace simplicity, is my political view. I’m an Irish immigrant abroad, big hug for 2018.

    Slán agus beannacht

    Paul P.

    • geri

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your support and I am sorry to hear that about your son. I hope he is doing well. Thanks for your informative response. I agree 10% could make areal difference to people in6 Ireland living with disabilities. Keep on reading and giving feedback!! Geri

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