Vogue Gave Models Fake Disabilities for Paralympics

And people aren't happy about it
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2016 5:57 PM CDT
Vogue Gets Heat for Giving Models Fake Disabilities
"Vogue Brazil" Photoshopped physical disabilities onto able-bodied models to promote the Paralympics.   (Instagram)

Vogue Brazil is taking heat this week after Photoshopping physical disabilities onto models for a Paralympics promotion instead of using actual amputees as models. The BBC reports the fashion magazine posted the offending image to Instagram on Thursday. It features models Cleo Pires (with her arm erased) and Paulo Vilhena (with his leg replaced by a prosthetic). "What were Brazilian Vogue thinking, it's completely and utterly wrong," disabled model and activist Chelsey Jay says. She says it's incredibly difficult for models with actual disabilities to get work. "The media think that it's OK to pretend that able-bodied people are disabled, and that's not OK," Jay says.

Pires and Vilhena were specifically Photoshopped to look like Brazilian Paralympians Bruna Alexandre and Renato Leite, CNN reports. According to Mashable, both Alexandre and Leite were in the studio for the shoot and posed for a picture with the models. For her part, Alexandre says she's fine with the Photoshopped image, as it helps bring attention to the Paralympics. The models, both of whom are Paralympics ambassadors, also don't understand what the big deal is. "As ambassador, we lend our images to give visibility [to a cause], and that's what we are doing, my God," the BBC quotes Pires as saying. The Rio Paralympics start next month. (Another recent Vogue controversy involved a homeless person.)

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