WHY REPRESENTATION MATTERS

Okay, so it’s been about a year since I saw Mad Max Fury Road in the cinema and I’m still not over it, even today I was talking about it with a friend, and the thought of it still makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. This isn’t because of the plot – which I did enjoy, the special effects, nor the actors – it’s because it’s the first time that I felt disability was represented positively

Since seeing the film, Furiosa – an amputee - has become a character which I essentially worship. Strong, badass female characters are enough to make me happy anyway, but add a disability to this already wonderful mix and you can guarantee that I won’t shut up about it for ages. I’m sick and I’m tired of seeing weak and feeble disabled characters, or disabled characters who are side plots – we deserve accurate representation, and this film really was a turning point for me.

I came out of that film skipping (well, hypothetically), feeling for possibly the first time in my life that my disability did not matter – that I can still be badass with a disability, that I’m not inferior because of it.

Anyone who says that the representation of disabled characters doesn’t matter, tell that to the 13 year old sobbing because she felt different to everyone else, and tell that to the 21 year old who grinned for about a week after seeing Mad Max Fury Road because for the first time in her life, she felt her disability didn’t define her.

You know what, I have a disability AND I’m badass – and with more positive representation, attitudes to disabilities can only improve. 

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