This week, as a much needed way to take a break from responsibility, I had the chance to see the movie Storks. My husband and I found it hilarious with a heartwarming ending, plus we found disability representation!
At one point, they featured a variety of families. It wasn’t hard to tell the effort they put into including as much diversity as possible. One of the first families had the mother in a wheelchair. I’ve noticed that most wheelchair users in movies are kids or men. They’re rarely women, much less mothers. I’d have to watch the scene a few more times to see if there were any more disability representation. They also included various races and parental combinations, including same sex couples and a single mom.
We Need Disability Representation In More Than Movies
When I worked at Michael’s in the framing department, I saw a lot of “picture perfect” families. Most were heterosexual, but there was a bit of LBGTQ representation, and diverse races. There was no disability represented at all.
The diversity was great to see, but it still irritated me that there were no disabled family members at all. That’s likely because the people who bought the photos either had no disabled options or rejected them. Why was that? I have no doubt there was anti-disability bias somewhere along the line. Whether it was conscious or not, it says that if disability is present in the family, there’s something wrong.
That’s not true.
Disability creates barriers and challenges, but those problems are social in nature. I’d to see some more families with disabled members normalized in media. Realistic representation is a huge step into resolving stigma.
Back to the movie. I will be writing more about it. While the family representation was great, there were problems. It’s possible to have one type of disability well represented, but still have ablism.
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