Troubling Images: The re-presentation of disabled womanhood: Britain's Missing Top Model

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Britain’s Missing Top Model (2008) was a reality television programme which provided unprecedented opportunities to present disabled women in ways which deconstructed old stereotypes and offered new understandings of beauty, value and competency. Set within wider discussions of the possibilities afforded by reality television, this article analyses the programme’s portrayal of the contestants, exploring their presentation as potential models, their place in ‘expert’ discourses of value and competency, and the re-articulations of impairment-based stereotypes of disabled womanhood. Despite any aesthetic gains in the representation of disabled womanhood, the article concludes by suggesting the show was shaped around a moral hierarchy of impairment-based differences, which worked to de-sexualize disabled women, out-contextualize disabling forces, and re-inscribe non-disabled ‘normalities’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-58
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Popular Television
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion keywords

  • Disability Equality

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