Disabilities are a cruel, yet constant part of our lives. Some of us admit their presence, accepting that they’re a part of everyday life, but others aren’t so open with their feelings. This comes in many different forms from many different people, as some just can’t face the severity of the real world.
And that’s fine, in a way, even though it really isn’t. If these people keep their opinions for themselves, we’re only talking about signs of their ignorance. But when people cause actually disabled people to start doubting themselves and to feel like they need to hide their disability and pretend to be normal, that’s when we actually have a serious issue.
Olivia Wilde’s PSA
Leading to perhaps one of the most memorable PSAs in the past few years, Olivia Wilde was contacted to appear in a public service announcement in order to raise awareness about Down’s syndrome. Of course, with Olivia Wilde being one of America’s sweethearts, she was pretty much perfect for the job.
And indeed, produced by New York-based advertising firm Saatchy and Saatchy and by Italian Down’s syndrome association CorDown, the ad was a resounding success. Everybody loved Wilde in the part, as she was truly and good-willingly intending to raise awareness about the condition. Some, however, found the commercial to not be without its flaws.
But in order to get to those, you first have to know how the PSA went. In the video, a young woman with Down’s syndrome is narrating her future as she imagines it to be. During this time, she appears on-screen for a bit, only to be replaced by Olivia Wilde doing the things she said she wanted to do.
And indeed, the idea was very good. It was meant to show how we’re all the same, and how even if some of us suffer from disabilities, we’re no different than A-list celebrities. It’s a very touching message, one that was appreciated by many people, but also one that was seen as slightly offensive by others. Here’s why, particularly in some disabled communities, people were shocked by Olivia Wilde’s Down’s syndrome PSA.
This is because they actually didn’t appreciate the fact that Olivia Wilde was portraying the young woman. There are those that felt that like the Down’s patient wasn’t good enough to appear on camera going about her day to day life, and that the producers decided to bring in a pretty face to go well with the inspiring message. They felt unworthy, and like they should hide their disabilities in order to be more like those appearing on TV.
Even if this was the situation, which it most likely wasn’t, the message is still a good one – we are all the same, despite our differences. It doesn’t matter if we’re loved by the entire nation or if we need a wheelchair to get around. We’re all in the same boat, so we should make the most of it.
Image source: Wikimedia