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Disability and Valuable Bodies

Marly729's picture

I found the topic that Riva spoke about is very true to the world today. So often our society, and even I in the past a couple of times, see a disability as a negative and feel bad for the subject, whether it be a portrait or in real life. I believe that there is such a set image as to what beautiful and "perfect" is that anything that strays from it is seen negatively even though it shouldn't in all cases. Referring back to the reading from Tuesday, a portrait serves the purpose of "portraying something" and shows characteristics of one's identities. And this subject should not be perfect. A portrait tells a story about the subject and as a viewer we have the ability to interpret that story in any form that we wish. We as people are physically capable of seeing a portrait of a disabled person as a positive,but there is this uniform connotation that disability should be pitied. However, if you look at multiple portraits, the ones from Doug Auld and Nina Berman particularly caught my interest, disability is shown very openly and proudly because they themselves see this disability as a part of their identity, accept it, and want others to see what they see. When I look at Doug Auld's and Nina Berman's portraits I see people who have very distinct characteristics and stories. I see people that are proud of who they are, of what they represent, are comfortable in their own skin, and aren't afraid for other people to see them. They don't try to hide any part of themselves regardless of whatever experience they may have gone through. I personally find that so beautiful and powerful and it is something that not everyone is able to say about themselves. It is ironic that there are people who are really into using photo shop and alterations in photos so they appear more beautiful and perfect, but these people just show themselves for who they are.