Thursday, July 24, 2008

Britain's Missing Top Model-Episode 4 The Battle For Visibility

There were two clear themes to this week's episode of Britain's Missing Top Model, the battle between Sophie and Jess, and the battle between visible and invisible disabilities.

The assignment was filming a TV advert for Pang's ice cream and a photo shoot, both with male models. During drinks with all the girls and male models the subject of partners comes up. Immediately Sophie points to Jess and with a knowing look at the boys, just says "lesbian". She then goes on to make further comments about Jess's sexuality after which Jessica can be heard asking "who is this Sophie today?" and that she doesn't like her. Understandable as in that moment Sophie comes across like a school yard bully. Later the situation between the two girls degenerates whilst out for dinner with Sophie attacking Jessica after she tries to explain her disability.

Most of the problems the other 3 girls have with Jessica seem to stem from a lack of understanding of her disability. Jessica, like many people who've grown up with a disability but not the diagnosis to match it struggles with the issues left over from a lifetime of disbelief, and often seems to feel she has to justify herself. Whilst Jessica could perhaps benefit from a more positive self attitude the clear disdain for her from Kelly Knox and Sophie shows more about their attitude towards their own identities as disabled women than it ever could Jessica's.

My money's on Sophie to win, even if I don't think she'll make much of a role model. Asking for fair treatment and understanding from the able bodied world means nothing if disabled people can't show it within our own.


4 comments:

Unixman said...

They won't show it - and they can't. They are in a goldfish bowl competition and the prize is all so they will behave like anybody else would - disabled or otherwise - backstabbing, dishing dirt on the opposition etc etc ... And in one respect that is to be expected: about the only thing that links these people together is their disability (oh yes and their looks!).

Trixie said...

Well that's the way she has to express herself to get noticed I suppose!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Unixman: Sadly I think you're right about this, although I stand by the wider point about the disabled community, far too much squabbling amongst ourselves to the detriment of the overall cause

Trix: I think she's notorious for this kind of thing ;)

cogidubnus said...

I'm afraid I stopped watching it...to be honest, like much "reality tv" I found it really boring..."trite" and "demeaning" are bad enough for me to handle, but "boring" I can't forgive...

A TV programme has to be pretty compelling (and occasionally there really is such a beast), to keep me away from my books and booze...except, (I'm ashamed to say), F1...

I'll do you a deal though...if YOU appear as a model, then I promise I'll watch!