The magazine used computer technologies to make two models appear to have disabilities while two real Paralympic athletes looked on. The point of the feature in Vogue Brazil was to highlight the start of the Paralympics on 7 September.
Instead of asking real Paralimpians to pose, the magazine asked two actors who were with no disabilities to pose like they were disabled. Meanwhile, during the shoot, a photograph of the Paralympians along with the actors was posted to Instagram. The caption on the photograph reads: “We are all Paralympians”.
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Richard Lane of disabilities charity Scope said: “[It’s] hard to understand why Vogue Brazil felt the need to use models who aren’t disabled in a Paralympic photo shoot.” He added: “It’s so rare to see positive and powerful representations of disabled people in the media.”
The Vogue spokesman tried to keep the magazine outside of the situation saying that Vogue did not launch this campaign.“It was conceived by the actors Cleo Pires, Paulo Vilhena (game ambassadors) and the Agency Africa. Vogue, along with Editions Globo Condé Nast, only supports the initiative as well as supports any initiative that encourages attendance at games,” the spokesperson said.
And we think that disabled people would understand what it meant. There was nothing humiliating for disabled people. The line between those who are disabled and those who are not is rather thin. When disabled people look ion the mirror, they see themselves healthy, disability exists only in the minds of people’s surrounding. And those people who are not disabled should oftener put themselves on the place of people with health problems to understand that they are also human beings who deserve being treated with respect.