Disability rights campaigners and social media users have reacted negatively to the images of Jenner using a wheelchair as a prop in a new fashion shoot for Interview magazine.
Reality star and model Kylie Jenner has come under fire from disability rights campaigners for posing in a gold wheelchair as part of a recent fashion shoot.
Jenner, 18, took part in a shoot for Interview magazine, part of which involved her sitting in a gold-decorated wheelchair, and the images were released on Tuesday (December 1st).
Social media platforms, as well as various advocacy groups, have reacted rancorously toward the able-bodied Jenner for taking part in the shoot. “It's deeply disturbing,” Emily Smith Beitiks, associate director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability in San Francisco, told CNN. “People with disabilities are already seen as powerless, and this just reinforces that.”
Kylie Jenner has come under fire for taking part in the shoot
“It's very bad taste that it's deemed 'artistic' to place a celebrity figure in the position of a disabled person in an editorial sense,” Chelsey Jay, Director of Disability for Models of Diversity, added. “However in reality, the fashion industry shuns actual models who in real life, depend on these mobility aids, yet are excluded for this exact reason.”
Interview defended the feature to E! News in a statement on Wednesday (December 2nd), arguing that the images play with ideas of power and subjectivity. “At Interview, we are proud of our tradition of working with great artists and empowering them to realize their distinct and often bold visions,” they said. “The Kylie Jenner cover by Steven Klein, which references the British artist Allen Jones, is a part of this tradition.”
“Our intention was to create a powerful set of pictures that get people thinking about image and creative expression, including the set with the wheelchair, but our intention was certainly not to offend anyone.”
However, social media seems to have sided against that, with Canadian disability activist Ophelia Brown taking to Twitter to write “@KylieJenner wow being in a wheelchair is so fun and fashionable! #Ableism is the ultimate fashion statement!”
“I wanted to show her that being in a wheelchair is not glamorous or fashionable or fun,” Brown told BBC Trending on Wednesday when asked what motivated her to post the remark, which was retweeted thousands of time.