Vogue Brazil under fire for photoshopping able bodied models to look like Paralympians
A new campaign promoting the Paralympics has come under fire for digitally altering able bodied models to give them disabilities.
Actors Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena star in the campaign to promote the upcoming Paralympic Games in Rio, which begin on Septebmer 7, which was published in Vogue Brazil.
The controversial campaign appears alongside the slogan "We Are All Paralympians", which has also been criticised as a misguided attempt to unify Brazil ahead of the Games.
Pires' right arm was amputated in the editing suite to replicate tennis table player Bruna Alexandre, while Vilhena was given a prosthetic right leg like that of volleyball player Renato Leite.
Both appeared to approve of the campaign as Alexandre shared a behind the scenes image on social media.
And the critics have come out firing.
Natália Belizario on the feminist website Lado M slammed the decision to curate and publish the images.
"There's no shortage of disabled people to take the place of spokesperson in these adverts and show society that, yes, they exist and they deserve as much space in the media as us," she said.
"No, we are not all Paralympians. We still do not understand the reality of people with disabilities."
Vogue Brazil's art director Clayton Carneiro said Cleo Pires was behind the campaign, which he described as a "punch in the gut...for a good cause."
“We knew it would be a punch in the gut, but we were there for a good cause, after all, almost no one bought tickets to see the Paralympic games,” he explained.
Pires has addressed critics on Instagram, saying: "I feel honoured to represent Bruna in this campaign endorsed by the Paralympic Committee and the Brazilian Paralympic athletes.
We lent our image to generate visibility. And that’s what we’re doing. My God."
The people of Brazil aren't exactly rallying behind the pair with Brazilian singer Estevan Tavares saying, ""That’s not a campaign, it’s an insult."