Thursday, July 10, 2008

Britain's Missing Top Model-Episode 2

aired on Tuesday, and after watching it for a second time my overwhelming feeling remains confusion. No-one seems to be quite sure whether this is a competition to find a model who happens to be disabled, or a disabled woman who could potentially be a model.

This episode showed an increasing distinction between visible and invisible disability, with Sophie in particular having strong feelings that the girls with invisible disabilities being pointless in the context of the competition. To me that showed a lack of understanding of the nature of disability as a whole more than anything else.

The episode focused on lingerie modelling in which all the girls looked great. Lillie was told if she wanted to be a lingerie model she would need to tone up, which was a fair and reasonable comment particularly as it was emphasised they did not mean she needed to lose weight. Unfortunately that was how the comment was taken and did not go down well with her, and she was still angry about it when she was evicted.

The other girl who did not get through was Debbie. I was a little confused about her inclusion as it is supposed to be Britain's Missing Top Model, not Missing Top Model and Debbie is Dutch. One girl who did get through was Jennie, the American girl who, despite any issues with her personality is certainly stunning model material, unlike all of the girls. Being particularly brutal there were a few girls who would not stand a chance in other modelling competitions, and although I may be wrong about this I feel the girl who wins should have the looks to win any modelling competition, not be included because they happen to have a disability.

All in all though, the show is a great watch, and I'm looking forward to next week!



3 comments:

gemmak said...

I too am confused by this programme and I agree with your observations. However, whilst I dislike Sophie's 'grumbling' I am beginning to wonder if she has a point. If the purpose of finding a model who has a disability is to highlight the many issues surrounding that, then if 'Joe Public' is unaware (as he maybe in the case of deafness)that there is a disability involved is the point not going to be missed in the main?

You said in comments earlier that train of thought, was itself missing the point, I think. Can you expand on that for me? I have been mulling it over all week and am still at a loss to come to a conclusion.

Incidentally, the American girl who has ataxia is absolutely stunning, true model looks :o)

Casdok said...

I think its great that they are doing this programme (and about time too!) especialy as it is promoting debate.
My son as you know has an invisible disability (if he is quiet and standing still!) so it is good that these points are being raised just so people are aware.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

GemmaK: As someone with a primarily invisible disability (as in you can't tell unless I'm walking/falling etc I feel the point needs to be made that the vast majority of disabilities are invisible and that doesn't make them less valid.
I do agree with the point that there should be not just models, but actors, presenters, etc in the media with visible disabilities, but overall I think I feel that this programme is a vital first step on a long road to that kind of equality.
I do think Sophie disregards the experience of anyone but herself as valid, I can do some degree understand that attitude of well I've managed to deal with all this and keep a smile on my face so what on earth are you whining about when you have it so easy comparitively. The problem being that that attitude can mean being blind to the difficulties encountered by others. As an example (and it's impossible to compare disabilities) whilst I would never want to lose a limb or be paralysed from the perspective of never knowing what will be wrong with your body I envy the 'luxury' of having a disability that doesn't change enough to make British weather look static.
And yes, Jennie is stunning, though in photos if not wearing a cast she won't appear disabled, but I suspect has one of the most disabling conditions of all the girls.

I'm not sure I've done anything other than confuse the issue further, but that's the thing about disability for me anyway, it's different for everyone.

Cas: Couldn't agree more x