4 Reasons Why Pro-Infirmis' Campaign Is Problematic

4 Reasons Why Pro-Infirmis' Campaign Is Problematic

Recently, Swiss disability advocacy organization Pro Infirmis created a campaign to help raise awareness on International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The organization picked five people to participate in the campaign.

1. Athlete Urs Kolly, who lost part of his right leg.

2. Miss Handicap 2010’s Jasmine Rechsteiner, who has kyphoscoliosis (deformation of the spine).

3. Actor Erwin Alijukić, who has brittle bone disease.

4. Radio host and film critic, Alex Oberholzer, who has polio.

5. Blogger Nadja Schmid, who has ongenital spinal muscular atrophy

In short, the video titled “Because who is perfect?”, showed a designer taking measurements of the five candidates and making mannequins that mirrored their bodies. The custom mannequins were dressed and displayed on the store front of Zurich’s main street, Bahnhofstrasse, which is known as the world’s most expensive retail strip. Then, the video filmed the surprised reactions of people passing by.

Heartwarming quotes like: “It is special to see yourself like this. When you usually can’t look at yourself in the mirror”, reminds me of Dove’s viral real beauty sketch campaign on self esteem. It’s also riding on the plus size and colour mannequin trend that’s been going around lately as well. It is a beautiful video and does the job of bringing awareness and representing a demographic that’s often excluded. However, as much as I do believe the good intentions behind this, I’ve noticed a few things that can be problematic.

1. The "Special Occasion" Mannequin


As far as representing a group of people, this shouldn't be a one time thing. They shouldn't be seen as the "special ocassion" mannequins that gets pulled out just for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. These people live like this their whole lives, which leads me to my second point...

2. It Doesn't Stop at Changing the Mannequin

Mannequins are seen as representations of ourselves when we shop, hence that's why they're there. But, how many times have you tried on something just to realize they don't fit you like how they fit on the mannequin? What I'm saying is, this is more than a representation issue.

3. Isolating A Demographic


Personally, I would've liked to see a mix of custom mannequins and the original mannequins together, all dressed up in the store front. I find it unneccesary to segregate the two because we do all exist together. What we want to do is integrate people with disabilities into our society, not isolate them.

4. Not-So-Hidden Advertisements


The glossy store sign Modissa was shot so many times, the campaign could've passed as a commercial which was what I literally thought before I read about the organization. Plus, this video suspiciously went viral during holiday shopping season...


By Stephanie Wu
Dec 5, 2013 @ 15:33


Content Stream

  • Japan is hands-down homeland of the freaky: they make the creepiest horror movies, invent useless and scary stuff that can give their horror movie a run for their money... In conclusion some of the things that hail from the land of the rising sun are bound to give you nightmares, or plain and simple weird the f*** out of you. One of their latest additions to the theatre of the macabre is the dating simulation game Hatoful Boyfriend - literally translated as 'hurtful pigeon boyfriend'......
  • Time travel. While for some it's nothing more than a farfetched dream only fulfilled through countless amounts of science fiction, for others it's a work in process - a possible feat in the near future. In Jacob Gentry's SYNCHRONICITY, traveling through time and space becomes a successful operation when physicist Jim Beale (played by Chad McKnight) and team do the unthinkable. Fast-forward 30-45 minutes into the feature. Without thinking, Beale steps into the wormhole opened by the...
  • Disclosure just released a brand new music video for their extremely catchy and feel-good track titled "Omen" featuring Mr. OG himself: Sam Smith on vocals. The video is a sequel to the debut single "Holding On" featuring Gregory Porter, which you can watch below.  The storyline for "Omen" continues two weeks later in the new music video above, with Sam Smith in the middle of a club, singing his heart out in the middle of a sweat-infused Eyes Wide Shut scene. You get a sense of some...
  • If you follow Diplo on Snapchat, you know that he basically lives on a plane, flying from one place to the other on the daily to DJ at a variety of events and shows.  He just released an exclusive Apple Music mix for Mad Decent through his Connect Page and it is pure [FIRE EMOJI] - Stream it below, and add it to your playlist:  https://twitter.com/diplo    
  • Printz Board's new video for "Rock n Roll," features several guest appearances/cameos that pop-up through the camera lens of your iPhone in this POV-style music video. This LA-based artist and producer brings the party with this guitar-driven, indie pop track that's sure to be the perfect addition to your summer jam playlist. I've provided a the most recent press release for you to check out below. The brand new music video has an impressive list of guest appearances/cameos including...
  • Each borough in the city of Montreal (just like any other city) - has its own unique story. From striking landmarks, eccentric characters, to particular ways of going about day-to-day activities. Each neighbourhood has its own flair and vibe that infiltrates the surrounding culture and inspires the people who have grown up with it and who in turn contribute to its ever-evolving personality.  We decided to reach out to creative individuals around the city to talk to us about how growing up...
  • Adi Ulmansky simply defies herself as someone who makes beats and sings, which is, in a way, a gross underestimation of what she actually does.  Ulmansky is an insanely talented pint-sized unicorn rider who carries the torch for a mish-mash of subcultures: from high-tops to Pokemon pajamas she is a collage of everything youth culture. Hailing from the vibrant city of Jerusalem, Israel, Adi Ulmansky first made a public appearance on an Israeli music channel, and since then collaborated...
  • OFF JFL premiered last week and it’s basically all the goodness of the Just for Laughs festival without the big price tag. Of course, the performers are less well known, but just like with musicians, the biggest names in comedy doesn’t necessarily translate into the funniest names in comedy. $30 bucks will get you into 2 shows, which is more than enough reason to go. Here are a couple of OFF JFL shows I’ve attended: Orny Adams, where to begin with him. He has this brash, outspoken American...
More articles