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Disability Chic Part III

D-Squared Ad with wheelchair

D-Squared Ad with wheelchair

I am now convinced it is a trend.  The shot, above, is my third sighting of disability equipment used in non disability related advertising recently, this time in the major glossies – Vogue and/or Bazaar … and, ta-da, it’s a wheelchair.

Not entirely sure why the wheelchair is featured and wanting to make the usual PC-comments about using disabled models but, honestly, perhaps this should be the way to go – spurious, non disability related use of mobility equipment as a casual prop. Worthy of no comment or special attention.

But, that’s not how it is, is it?

a. I’m commenting and querying and am sure I wouldn’t be alone in this. And that’s exactly what the advertisers hope for by using this image.

b. the wheelchair, even in a glam shoot, is ugly – it has to be to make the point – so its’ rough edges are smoothed away by the blending grey hues of the photography.  (Not of issue to this campaign but will we ever get good looking wheelchairs in daily use? Sigh.)

c. it’s all a meant to be a fun gimmick, no? Contrasting the glamour and the grim, hoping to, jokily, turn heads a la GaGa rather than any move to genuine, or even casual, inclusion.

Here today, gone tomorrow … or gone in the next advertising campaign.

I’m feeling slightly irritated and thinking this ad reinforces subliminal negativity about disability.

Or am I overthinking the significance of the whole thing?

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