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...
Comprised of rappers Husser, Kris the $pirit, and producer Joey Sherrett, the unapologetic trio that form The Posterz are definitely making waves at the moment, especially with their sophomore release titled JUNGA which has caught the attention of the big dogs out there. These guys have been on our radar ever since they started playing small shows around the city of Montreal. We recently covered the video release for "Bulalay", and couldn't wait to find out more as soon as we saw that Husser...
- Nov 30, 2015 @ 11:08
- 46 views
BLAJK is new to the game, born from the depth's of Toronto's ever-evolving independant music scene. Their debut single "Hamptons" is an indie crossover that sees lead vocalist Jordan Radics, "tell a bittersweet tale of hedonism and heartbreak over a song that owes it’s sound as much to the millennial melody of Outkast as it does to 80’s new wave and infectious electro pop". BLAJK's aesthetic is brought to light by a video from the infamous director Tristan CM, which you can check out below...
- Nov 29, 2015 @ 18:21
- 43 views
There seems to be a new music video from propaganda princess M.I.A cleverly titled "Borders" that came out a few days ago. Even though it is not hosted directly on M.I.A's account, it seems pretty real and official. The video shows impressive amounts of visuals surrounding the current state of refugees around the world, perfectly fitting with the catchy tune about said borders. Watch the official video (in low quality) above. You can alternatively watch/download and keep the high quality video...
- Nov 29, 2015 @ 18:14
- 7 views
Drop Your Skirt
Abundunce is the brainchild of Chee Maduekwe, a young designer who created a brand that takes influences from downtown culture, music, and movies. Abundunce has been behind the scenes in terms of press, this is our first time writing about the brand but it’s well integrated into the Toronto underground scene. A collection recently dropped entitled “NOWHERE FAST” includes four different 100% cotton t-shirts composed with different graphics. This collection also includes a jacket, a more staple...
- Nov 27, 2015 @ 10:00
- 42 views
We are always excited when FIELD of PONIES hit us up with new material. FIELD of PONIES is a London based label designed by Julie Bérubé. The narrative of Field of Ponies is drawn from reflections on civilisation and its imminent implosion. As we witness the death of our planet, we are also artificially enhancing ourselves to create our best selfies. Leading up to the new year, we get a good glimpse at the latest lookbook for the Spring/Summer 2016 collection titled "OWL SCREAM / ICE CREAM" -...
- Nov 18, 2015 @ 20:41
- 58 views
It's been a minute since we've heard from Toronto lifestyle brand HALFWITS. You can imagine the excitement we had after feasting eyes on their Winter 2015 Collection. Halfwits Winter '15 line marries menswear staples with forward thinking hits of detail Keeping the same ideology of homegrown style, the guys over at HLFWTS tried to bridge the gap between skate-culture and today's young professional look. If you work for a start-up, or if you run your own business and have a meeting to get to,...
- Nov 18, 2015 @ 10:35
- 91 views
This is exactly what it sounds like, only it's definitely much better than you expect. Cooking With Dog is the best thing I've read about today, and the best thing I've watched this week. Did you see the dog fall off the table? I can't stop laughing. The channel is self-described as being a "YouTube cooking show featured by a canine host Francis and a mysterious Japanese Chef whose real name is not disclosed. While Chef cooks a variety of popular dishes in Japan, Francis calmly sits next to her...
- Nov 29, 2015 @ 18:27
- 2 views
The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the strongest sides in the National Hockey League and will be keen to defend their Stanley Cup crown this season. The Blackhawks have won ice hockey's primary tournament in three of the last six seasons and, with a bit of luck, Chicago will fancy their chances of going all the way this year. However, they will face stiff competition from the likes of New York Rangers, Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens - who will all be looking to displace the current Stanley...
- Nov 26, 2015 @ 12:00
- 11 views
Hiding an HIV diagnosis from a sexual partner is an awful thing to do, and can be considered illegal. Hiding an HIV diagnosis from a coworker, on the other hand, is totally fine. Unless you work in porn or in some needle-sharing emporium, you’re coworker can be left in the dark without consequence. Jenny McCarthy disagrees. McCarthy criticized Sheen on her show Dirty, Sexy Funny on SiriusXM for not disclosing his HIV when she played his love interest on Two And A Half Men. I’ve never...
- Nov 23, 2015 @ 10:27
- 372 views