The media, it’s everywhere. Media plays such a big part in today’s society but what is it? Why does it exist? Now without going all academic, the role of media is to represent society and share information so why as one of biggest minority groups is disability so underrepresented in the mainstream media?
I’m not talking the wealth of ‘inspiring’ or shocking stories in the news about disabilities, elderly or care but the true role models. I know I’ve done a post about disabled people shouldn’t be seen as inspiring for the sake of it but that doesn’t mean that disabilities should be ignored in the mainstream media.
Ok, so there are disabled actors and artists but don’t you think they deserve to represent more than the tries and tribulations of having a disability, where are the disabled singers, models, why isn’t there more than one token disabled person per soap and why do they always have a deep rooted resentment to their disability? It’s all terribly cliché if you ask me.
Disability is one minority group that is one of the largest in the world and it can become a part of someone at any point in their life, young or old. Admittedly the representation of disability has increased since the boom of the Paralympics but not everyone who is disabled wants to be an athlete or comedian. Personally I’d like to see more models. The fashion and beauty industry are now starting to feature the plus size model so in all honesty should be featuring disabled models too.
If disability was better and more accurately portrayed then maybe, just maybe stigma surrounding disability would become non existent. As much as things like the Equalities Act have improved the lives of disabled people, I can’t help but think to a degree disabled people are still viewed as unequal and I can’t help but think that the media are partly to blame for this.
Equality for disabilities will not happen without the media changing, I’m not saying all people that are disabled need to be in the media, far from it but the media have a role to play in representing society. Yes we have programmes like ‘Undateables’ but why does it need to be a special programme? Disability is something that affects everyone, you can pretty much bet that everyone knows or knows of someone with a disability so that pretty much tells you how big this ‘minority’ group of people is!
Until Next Time