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Of Monsters and Men (Pun Intended)

cool44man's picture

I love Golem Girl since I feel that everyone with a disability can relate. It is often a joke among my disabled friends that someone misread the instructions when we were built. In my case, somebody skipped a step completely. When we walk, think, or breathe, it feels like we live in someone else’s world. When Riva Lehrer said that all Golems make the journey from the “It” to the “I,” it seemed like something was missing. The monster-making process is the fault of society. When people see things differently from them, they tend to be afraid. Many of the legends of monsters came from: the first mermaids were squid. The mythology explains why many conditions take their name from mythical creatures. However, society does not also perceive disabled folks as equally monstrous. This can be seen in the examples of golems Lehrer provides. Data from Star Trek has an obvious impairment, being incapable of feeling emotions. Yet he was more accepted in his community than the original Gollum because he was built very similarly. This proves that society cares more about appearance than anything else and explains the monstrous rhetoric. It, therefore, makes sense that Lehrer mentions her complicated relationship with fashion. When people are young, their parents can choose how to dress their children. They often choose to dress their kids in a way to hide their disability and make them appear as “normal” as possible. However, this causes children to learn that children should hide their disability and they are not normal. The attempt at normalization reinforces the trope that they are monsters and inhuman. Adults are shifting the paradigm who, under their direction, often wear more various things to accentuate what they find good about themselves. The new fashion trends encourage the next generation to be proud of themselves and their disabilities. However, there is still a barrier to representation in high fashion. Many models are the same height and body shape, so many people could not see themselves on the runway. If we embrace today’s more alternative fashion styles and more inclusive rhetoric, we can show the next generation of kids that there are no monsters, only beautiful people.