Bodies are beautiful, even if parts of them are missing. This is thesis for a new show called Britain's Missing Top Model, a competition series featuring contestants with disabilities, including amputees and a paraplegic. The show has been a hit in the UK, some are praising its bold mission, calling it revolutionary and groundbreaking and all that. These girls are all lovely, no matter what, "you just have to position them in a different way," says Jonathan Phang, the show's Jay Manuel. Hiding it! It's as easy as that! Well, on the show it's that easy. Is this whole premise really all that empowering, or are irregularities, yet again, simply being exploited?
I mean, it's probably mostly all well and good and I hope it makes people with disabilities feel more recognized and enfranchised. But, sigh, are we the only ones hearing the feint lilt of a carnival freak show organ grinding? Once the victor is done with her four-page spread in the UK edition of Marie Claire, will she be welcomed into the ranks of the modeling world? Or will she just be the girl missing an arm who won that weird show once?
Earlier: Meet the girls.