Have you ever had one of those moments where everything just snaps into focus? Cuz I just did!
Last summer, I was asked to send in my pictures to a modeling agency. Although I was hesitant to send in my pictures at first, I did. I was hugely honored because this particular agency was one of the best in the modeling world. But, I never heard back from them. This was confusing to me, because I am tall enough and fit their body measurement requirements. I know that most forms of rejection in this type of world come by not getting called back, so I just let it go.
Today, while writing a college essay, I came across a website about modeling agencies for the disabled. And I was shocked. A little blurb above the webpage informed me that most top modeling agencies in the world do not represent disabled people at all. Some will accept pictures, but rarely sign them because the chances of finding jobs for these disabled people are slim (no pun intended). And as it turns out, the agency I applied to was one of the agencies that does not accept entries for disabled people.
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the reasons for this restriction (the modeling world is so caught up on the visual) but it is not right at all. In today’s world, the media is attempting to become more “real” with all those Dove commericals and plus models. Why doesn’t this extend to the disabled?
I have never felt like I have not been able to do something because I am hearing impaired. It is a strange feeling indeed. As you all probably know, I view myself as a fully functioning “normal” person and I have pushed myself to be this way. Finding out that modeling agencies do not accept disabled people is the first time I have ever felt restricted by this impairment.
Of course, there is a chance that I may not have heard back simply because I was not right for that certain agency at that time, but one can’t help but wonder how my being hearing impaired may have affected my chances of getting signed. I am not writing this entry out of spite to that agency, but simply because I am feeling reflective. Many civil rights laws these days have demanded that all people be treated equally, but simply refusing to acknowledge something straight up is not the same as treating everyone equally.
This is a bit ironic, but I want to make some noise (get it?) about this issue. Let there be equality on the surface and underneath as well, and let there be equality for all.