On BBC Show, Disabled Models Learn Same Lessons As Any Other Models

Britain's Missing Top Model, the show in which disabled women compete for a photo spread in Marie Claire, begins airing tonight on BBC America. What can viewers expect to see?

The reality series originally aired last year summer in the UK (if you want to know who the winner was, click here). As Alessandra Stanley writes for The New York Times, though it supposedly is "designed to raise the profile and confidence of disabled women," it actually "makes a spectacle of their hunger for acceptance."

Though many of the contestants have visible physical disabilities — one is in a wheelchair, one is missing an arm — one young lady, Kellie, is deaf. Apparently that's a boon for a model. Stanley writes:

If anything, the absence of communication may even be an asset in the modeling world. Mr. Phang says to a photographer, "It's kind of nice working with deaf girls because there's not those sort of irritating questions."

But the Times makes it sound like Britian's Missing Top Model doesn't actually break down any barriers in modeling — it's really the same old, same old: Thin is in.

"Rebecca's disability didn't cause me any problems," a photographer says after shooting Rebecca, 27, a stunning brunette who was born with a deformed hip and wears a prosthetic leg. "It was just the fact she's not really in shape. Most models are pretty toned, slimmer, more agile."

Disabled, And Seeking Acceptance in Fashion [NY Times]

Earlier: You Wanna Be On Top
TV Show Searches For Disabled Model
Related: Britian's Missing Top Model [ONTD]