Disabled Models Take Brave Turn on Reality TV

Half a million tune in to premiere of UK show
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 9:25 PM CDT
Disabled beauty contestants light up the screen in "Britain's Missing Top Model."   (Todd Antony/BBC)
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(Newser) – She may have only one arm, but Debbie van der Putten loves her body, and she thinks Britain will too. Ven der Putten is one of eight disabled girls competing in the BBC’s latest reality TV sensation, Britain’s Missing Top Model. Half a million people tuned in to this week's premiere, Time reports, but controversy surrounds the show.

“Disabled girls are sick of being excluded from society,” said the editor of Marie Claire, which will run a four-page spread on the winner. “This show tries to shake the industry up a bit.” But one disabled comedian is skeptical: “I'm not sure that seeing disabled women prance around in lingerie is the best way to change representation,” she said.