Wheelchairs, gender, and poppies: just a brief selection of what people have decided to get pissed off about this year.
Kylie Jenner’s latest cover for Interview Magazine has caused quite a stir both within, and out of, the disabled community. The series of images portrays Jenner as a plastic doll, donning black latex and showing bare flesh, as well as one of her sat in a wheelchair – and people do not like the latter.
Let’s just get past the fact she’s 18 and people decided to get pissed off about her being in a wheelchair, and not the fact she has her bare bum out in various shots, and look into just why people are pissed off.
Jenner has been accused of glamourising having a disability, and the seemingly callous approach she has to happily sitting in an ‘accessory’ when, for some people, it’s their life. I totally get this: having to live your life struggling not only with the physical pain, but the social stigma people with disabilities face is bad enough. Add to that someone using it as a marketing ploy, and it can only be infuriating.
But I actually think Kylie using it in a provocative way destigmatises it. She is a hugely influential person so seeing a wheelchair used in a day-to-day manner can only improve people’s attitudes towards people with life-altering disabilities.
Our intention was to create a powerful set of pictures that get people thinking about image and creative expression, including the set with the wheelchair – Interview
Not only that, but Kylie is just the model here positioned and directed by someone else. I can’t help but feel for the 18 year old, as it seems as if she can’t do anything right (even having people calling animal protection on her because her dogs looked too thin on Snapchat!). If it had been anyone else, I doubt there would have been such a major backlash – I mean, Gaga’s done it before with no scrutiny.
2015 has been a time where the world has been torn apart by violence and poverty, and although this doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to complain about things like this, the fact this ‘outrage’ was featured in every major publication makes me think people have too much time on their hands.
Kylie Jenner didn’t intend this shoot to cause a negative stir or offend anyone, and she regularly contributes to charities and puts in volunteer time. But these more positive elements of Jenner’s life seem to take a backseat in favour of sensationalising these apparent evils – but it seems people lack perspective. In my mind, it’s just another case of finding something to shout about, when really there are far worse things going on in the world right now that need our attention.