I’m used to bad portrayals of blindness and blind people—portrayals that fail to recognize the huge extent to which the challenges associated with blindness are created by negative attitudes, misconceptions about blindness, and badly designed products, services, and institutions. What I’m not used to is such a blatantly offensive and exploitative representation of blindness. This is truly one of the worst of recent years.
COMMUNITY CALL TO ACTION:
DOES PSYCHO DONUTS IN CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA OFFEND YOU?
In March, a new donut shop opened in Campbell, California, called Psycho
Donuts. The store capitalizes on the theme of a ³fun mental institution,² a
³lighthearted insane asylum² complete with a padded cell where kids can
take photos while wearing a straightjacket, a “group therapy” area,
employees dressed in medical garb, and donuts named after psychiatric
disabilities, such as Massive Brain Trauma and Bipolar. Psycho Donuts¹
website states that it ³has taken the neighborhood donut and put it on
medication, and given it shock treatment.² The store owners have refused
meeting requests from NAMI and from the Silicon Valley Independent Living
Center. The Mayor of Campbell, Jane Kennedy, attended the ribbon cutting
for the business on April 2. The media coverage of the donut shop by the
San Jose Mercury News on March 16th unquestioningly validated the
discriminatory theme of the business.
Does this offend you? Are you as outraged about this as we are? If so,
please help us DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Send a loud and clear message to the
owners of Psycho Donuts and to the leadership of the City of Campbell that
the nationwide disability community WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS.
WHAT CAN DO YOU TO HELP? Continue reading
In April, Paris drafted a voluntary charter encouraging advertisers to promote a wider range of body types in an effort to curb the spread of eating disorders among teenagers. Soon, Quebec may be following suit. Although some countries have made weight ranges mandatory, such as Spain, this voluntary measure is a first step that does not preclude the possibility of legislation passing in the future. See the full story here.
Here in Canada we’ve already seen some advertisers looking to promote a wider range body types. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is a conspicuous one that has received much attention. Largely, I think, this is due to the shock value that half-naked non-models on billboards will inevitably provide in a culture where images of bodies in public are edited beyond recognition. Continue reading
Bloggingheads.tv threw up an interesting piece last week that begins with a discussion surrounding obesity (The entire segment is titled “The Skinny on Obesity“, but note in advance that the conversation is less focused than the title implies; they switch topics and discuss carbon emission regulations for the last half). I was struck by a number of the claims that were made throughout this discussion and most particularly by the way that later comments contrasted with earlier ones. It is in this contrast, especially given the subject matter, that I believe there is a valuable lesson regarding how we should view answers to the question “What sorts of people should there be?” Continue reading