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Kylie Jenner’s Wheelchair Photoshoot

December 2, 2015

I’m not quite sure what to make of the photoshoot picture of Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair.

When Lady Gaga did her ‘mermaid in a wheelchair’ segment on stage a few years ago, I looked at her record of including fans with disabilities and thought that she might have been trying to make wheelchair users in her audience feel included, welcomed or cool.

I don’t know Kylie Jenner’s opinions on disability or difference. And she appears to have been asked to sit in a wheelchair as part of a photoshoot for Interview.

Interview senior editor Chris Wallace told Mashable that the images were intended to present Jenner as “the object of Internet fetishization and curiosity and wonder and celebrity,” in addition to portraying her as “in control of her image.”

Jenner appears to be wearing a very short dress while sitting in the wheelchair, which is gold.

(Photo copyright Steven Klein/Interview)

Has anyone considered the fact that Interview, through Kylie Jenner, may have been trying to show its readers that girls in wheelchairs wear short, sexy dresses, too, and that this is perfectly all right?

As an occasional wheelchair user who has many friends who are permanent wheelchair users, I welcome anything or anyone that shows the rest of the world what people in wheelchairs already know- that we are just like everyone else.

Some have criticized the photo on Twitter:

Readers, there are very good points being made in that Twitter thread. Very good points that deserve consideration.

Personally, I would love to see a model who actually is a permanent wheelchair user on the front cover of a magazine sitting in a wheelchair wearing a short, sexy dress.

However, the question that must be asked about that is- would non-disabled girls and women, given a wide range of magazines to choose from, look twice at a model in a wheelchair on a front cover if she wasn’t Kylie Jenner? The sad truth, readers, is that I think the answer is no. Maybe a time will come when that answer will change. I dream of that time, but sadly, I don’t think it has come yet.

If the photo is trying to make a point about girls and women in wheelchairs being cool and wearing short, sexy dresses, too, then I think it needed to be a photo of Kylie Jenner, in order to make all girls and women look twice at it so that that point could get across to them.

If that was Interview‘s intention, I welcome the photo and thank them for it.

If that was Interview’s intention, I thank Kylie Jenner for agreeing to pose for the photo. Because if that was Interview’s intention, Kylie Jenner has used her fame and fortune to do something very positive that everyone can learn something very important from.




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