Kylie Jenner caused quite a stir in the media when it came to her Interview magazine cover photo. The photo shows Jenner posing in a wheelchair, which expresses her claim that she is bound by her fame, which she cannot escape even if she wanted to. As many can imagine, this did not settle well with the public and, most importantly, with disabled individuals who have no other option than to use a wheelchair.
Although Jenner might not have meant to bring such negative energy on the topic of being disabled or having to use a wheelchair in a serious, everyday manner, she did just that. The public was outraged when Jenner’s photo shoot was released.
Some of the many individuals who use a wheelchair for everyday tasks, such as Ophelia Brown and Jessica Jewett Jones, are less than pleased with the photo shoot using a golden wheelchair as a prop, making it a fashion statement.
There are many views on the topic, such as the view that Jenner and Interview magazine were trying to get a different point across to the public than how many took it. This created controversy on the topic, causing heads to turn.
The idea that Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair is seen as glamorous yet disabled people that use wheelchairs struggle to find modelling work…
— Steph Boal (@stephhboal) December 1, 2015
This magazine cover may seem to bring negative energy, such as the topic of ableism, which refers to “attitudes in society that devalue and limit the potential of persons with disabilities.” However, it also brings attention to individuals with disabilities, shifting the spotlight from Jenner to people such as Ophelia Brown, Jessica Jewett, Caly Deer, Lauren Wasser, and H. Jordyn Taylor. While the spotlight shifts to these individuals who are using a wheelchair in their everyday lives, light is shed on the discrimination against disabilities. It allows the public to become more aware of the difficult challenges that disabled individuals face in their own lives.
I like how @KylieJenner can pose in a wheelchair for a magazine but whenever I use one I get shouted at with abliest slurs & get called ugly
— moved (@celestialmeme) December 1, 2015
Whether or not Jenner and Interview tried to bring attention to people who are not famous or who use a wheelchair daily, they did. There are many tweets from disabled individuals stating how they would never be able to make the cover of a magazine or make any sort of news because of their wheelchair, but maybe, just maybe, Jenner and Interview magazine allowed them to do just that!
As H. Jordyn Taylor jokes on her Instagram account, “Kylie Jenner can kiss my ass. I wouldn’t be able to feel it but still.. #CripJokes.” Taylor brings humor to the topic while expressing that Jenner’s photo was not appropriate. Lauren Wasser, meanwhile, recreated Jenner’s shoot by stepping on tabloids, interviews, and a plethora of magazines about the Kardashian-Jenner’s lives, which is powerful in itself.
After the cover photo was published, people who don’t typically get attention became hot topics, such as Ophelia Brown. Not only is Brown gaining recognition and fame from the media by being in multiple online articles, but her Twitter page is being frequently visited and gaining followers. She’s also raising awareness to the severity of disabilities and that they’re not something to joke about. It is a way of life.
Jenner may have raised the right kind of attention, putting the spotlight on her for a minute but then turning it over to others in wheelchairs, giving them their fame and raising awareness of disabilities. Ophelia Brown has now received more attention to her donation page for a new wheelchair than before Interview’s controversial cover. She has already raised $4,380 out of her $6,000 goal.
Me and my family are still looking to raise money to get me a wheelchair! A mobility device means freedom for me. 😊 https://t.co/1hqNG9SZx5
— moved to @opheliajcbrown (@bandaidknees) November 26, 2015
Although there was much controversy surrounding Jenner posing in a wheelchair, it brought attention to individuals with real disabilities and allowed the public to gain knowledge of diverse ways of life.