BBC searching for disabled model
The BBC, with the help of the London charity Disability Action Islington, is seeking disabled women models to compete with each other in a program that will aim, they say, to "challenge the artificial boundaries that seem to exist in the beauty and fashion industry." One negative cultural stereotype that the producers are seemingly not interested in contesting, one group of women excluded from a call that claims to be inclusive, are older women with disabilities: according to the search, women with disabilities 30 years old and over are not eligible to apply!
From the Guardian
The BBC is to launch what it claims is the UK's first TV competition for disabled models with a BBC3 series that aims to find a fresh mainstream fashion face.
BBC3's series, which has working title of Britain's Missing Top Model, will see eight women with disabilities compete over three weeks to prove to a panel of industry experts they have what it takes to be a mainstream fashion model.
The BBC and the show's maker, Love Productions, whose credits include the forthcoming BBC3 series Pramface Mansion, said they hoped the series would "challenge artificial boundaries" in the fashion business and "empower" women.
"Our intention is to empower both the women featured in the project and thousands of others, who shouldn't be invisible to the fashion industry just because they are disabled people," the Love creative director, Richard McKerrow, said.
"We're also looking to challenge preconceived notions of beauty." The BBC3 controller, Danny Cohen, added: "This series aims to challenge the artificial boundaries that seem to exist in the beauty and fashion industries.
"It would be great if in the future we began to see more disabled models gracing the covers of the world's magazines."
The series, which is due to air in the summer, has signed up north London charity Disability Action Islington to act as consultants.
Disabilty Action Islington said in a statement: "Any programme which raises awareness of the barriers that society places in the path of disabled people wanting to pursue their chosen career, that has the ability to challenge negative stereotypes and encourage inclusion is a positive thing."
Producers have launched a search to find women aged between 18 and 30 who "consider themselves to have a disability and believe they have what it takes to work in the mainstream modelling industry" to take part in the programme.
The five-part series will follow the chosen women as they move into a London apartment together and are trained in every aspect of modelling from posing for photoshoots to location work and catwalks.
They will also be set challenges by the show's judges, who will eventually chose a winner who will scoop the prize of a high-fashion shoot with a top photographer in a women's glossy magazine.
The series will be supported by Ouch, the BBC's disability website, which will provide a forum for debate about the issues raised by the show, as well as offering video clips and blogs. Ouch will also host a campaign by BBC Learning on disability within the beauty and fashion industry.