Saturday 24 February 2018

Wheelchair user recreates Kylie Jenner's Interview cover: 'I can barely get people to make eye contact, let alone land a cover shoot'

Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner
Model Kylie Jenner attends the GQ 20th Anniversary Men Of The Year Party at Chateau Marmont on December 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for GQ Magazine)
Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair for Interview magazine

Olivia Blair

A wheelchair user has re-created Kylie Jenner’s Interview photoshoot which has been criticised for being "ableist".

Shot by Steven Klein, the 18-year-old reality TV personality appears on the cover of Interview magazine in a wheelchair with gold frames while wearing latex.

Since the cover was revealed, it has been criticised on social media for using disability as a fashion statement and encouraging ableism — the discrimination in favour of able-bodied people over those with physical disabilities.

According to Mic, 24-year-old Erin Tatum altered her hair and clothes to replicate Jenner’s appearance and used her own actual wheelchair to draw attention to the issue.

Posting on Tumblr, she explains she tried to create a more “authentic” version of the shoot,“given that I’m, you know, actually disabled and a real life wheelchair user.

“I can barely get people to make eye contact with me, let alone land a cover shoot.

“If being in a wheelchair is trendy now, I’ve apparently been a trendsetter since before Kylie was born.”

he shots were part of a homage to Allen Jones, the 1960s pop artist famed for his controversial sculptures of women in submissive positions, often appearing doll-like.

Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair for Interview magazine
Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair for Interview magazine

The magazine defended the shoot saying: “At Interview, we are proud of our tradition of working with great artists and empowering them to realise their distinct and often bold visions.

“The Kylie Jenner cover… is a part of this tradition, placing Kylie in a variety of positions of power and control and exploring her image as an object of vast media scrutiny… the feature aims to unpack Kylie’s status as both engineer of her image and object of attention.”

But the disability rights charity, Scope, told The Independent this week having a non-disabled person in a wheelchair “will offend many disabled people”.

“If we’re going to challenge assumptions about disability, particularly about sex and disability, we need to share real-life depictions and experiences.”

(© Independent News Service)

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