Just because you have a disability doesn't mean you can't wear a costume4 Nov 2015
Halloween has just past us by so I thought now would be a good time to talk about the inclusion of disabled people in the cosplay and acting world. While Halloween is not a big deal in Australia it's gaining popularity with the younger generation and costumes have become a big thing at conventions.
Cosplay is the act of dressing up as your favourite character from a TV shows, movie, game or comic and usually done at conventions involving these topics.
People tend to judge a person based on their gender, race, physical appearance and abilities. This sort of excluding attitude leads to the disabled often being restricted in the types of things they can do. I find it sad that just because a person is born without a leg or a properly functioning nervous system, they have to continually prove aspects of themselves to society.
There are those out there such as Kirsten Passmore and the community of Cosability dedicated to challenging this attitude and showing people that it doesn't matter what you look like, or what abilities you have. You can take part if you put your mind to it and use some creativity.
Kirsten doesn't let her wheelchair stop her, converting it to be part of her costume. She's not alone either; many people use their wheelchair, prosthetics or walking aids as part of their costume to great effect.
Her advice for those that are questioned on their costume choice is to question the person right back. After all nobody's costume can be 100% accurate to the character they're portraying.
How can you be superman if you can't walk?
Her response is
How can you be superman if you can't fly?
To Get in touch with Cosability or to see the amazing costumes people have created.
Visit - Cosability Facebook page.
To read more about Kirsten's experiences visit this article.
I'm going to finish this post with a question that was asked of Kirsten. Is it offensive to see abled bodied people dressed as disabled characters?
No, I don't believe it is offensive.
Hollywood should be casting disabled actors when they have a disabled character in the script. When you get abled bodied actors to play these characters you're only spreading the idea that people with disabilities aren't good enough. On the positive side of things it can be used as tool to spread awareness and let people now that yes we have limitations, but we also have strengths and that's what you should be focusing on.
The children of today will hopefully grow up with a better awareness and understanding, thanks to an increase in the amount of television shows containing disabled main characters. The blind superhero Daredevil and the protagonist of Mad Max: Fury Road Furiosa, are just two examples.
With the rise of disabled characters the community is becoming more inclusive. It's not about how accurate your costume is. It's about having fun sharing similar interests with others, and you can do that regardless of your abilities.
Hopefully when these children become adults our society will have a greater acceptance of the disabled and the attitude, if we don't talk about, it doesn't exist will disappear.
So what do you think?