It's really quite astonishing what passes as acceptable in the year 2015. You'd think, the recent cover of 18 year-old Kylie Jenner for Interview magazine, wheelchair-bound wearing a corset, would not be one of those things.
But it was, and for some reason none of the many bodies milling around on that photo shoot saw anything amiss with the image it was trying to capture.
Were it a conscious attempt to make disability look sexy, featuring a disabled model, that would have been another story. But the fact that it used a wheelchair as a prop for an able-bodied reality star went beyond the pale.
“It’s blatant sexualization of physical limitation, which is ironic because in the real world if you have any physical limitations or have a disability, that seems to automatically forfeit your right to sexuality,” said Erin Tatum, a 24-year-old writer with cerebral palsy.
But instead of simply adding to the noise on social media, Tatum, did something far more effective, to get her point across.
She tracked down her own shiny corset, and made her own sexy cover - juxtaposed with Jenner's... See, Kylie, this is what disability really looks like.
As mockups go, it spoke volumes.
Instead of getting angry, Tatum got even. And she had fun along the way.
“I saw it and I just started laughing with my mom,” Tatum said. “Like oh, what, it’s cool to be disabled now? That’s how the idea of a photo shoot started. I could pull off that outfit so much better than her.”
Wheelchairs are not fun props that can be played with. What Jenner and Interview did in the name of fashion was not edgy or subversive. It was just plain ignorant.
Kudos to Tatum for taking on the cover with intelligence and grace.
As for Interview magazine, it "wasn't their intention" to offend anyone. Facepalm.
Image Source: Erin Tatum Tumblr