A fashion shoot in Vogue Brazil is facing some serious backlash after it featured photoshopped amputations on two able-bodied soap opera stars in its “We Are All Paralympians” campaign.
The celebrities Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena don’t have physical disabilities, however Vogue Brazil decided to digitally edit Pires right arm and give Vilhena a prosthetic leg. The photo shoot is meant to raise awareness of the Paralympic games and to help sell more tickets.
#SomosTodosParalímpicos: para atrair visibilidade aos Jogos Paralímpicos e ressaltar a relevância dos paratletas brasileiros no panorama do esporte nacional, @cleopires_oficial e Paulo Vilhena (@vilhenap) aceitaram o convite para serem embaixadores do Comitê Paralímpico Brasileiro e estrelam a campanha Somos Todos Paralímpicos. Concebido pelos atores com o apoio do @ocpboficial e dos atletas, com direção criativa de @ccarneiro, fotografia de @andrepassos e beleza de @carolalmeidaprada, o anúncio traz Cleo na pele de @bruninha_alexandre, paratleta do tênis de mesa, e Paulo, de @renatoleite10, da categoria vôlei sentado. Os ingressos estão à venda em ingressos.rio2016.com. Vogue mostra os bastidores do shooting com o quarteto no link da bio. #voguenasparalimpiadas
The (translated) caption for the Vogue photo reads:
To attract visibility to the Paralympics and highlight the relevance of Brazilian disabled athletes in the panorama of the national sport, and @cleopires_oficial and@vilhenap accepted the invitation to be ambassadors of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and star in the campaign We Are Paralympics.
Designed by actors with the support of @ocpboficial and athletes with creative direction of @ccarneiro, @andrepassos photography and beauty @carolalmeidaprada , the announcement brings Cleo in @bruninha_alexandre skin , table tennis paratleta , and Paul of @ renatoleite10 , category sitting volleyball . Tickets are on sale in ingressos.rio2016.com
Group head of campaigns at disability charity Scope Richard Lane told Huffington Post UK: “The magazine has missed the perfect opportunity to celebrate Brazil’s talented Paralympians as sporting equals. It’s so rare to see positive and powerful representations of disabled people in the media. The Paralympics is a time to challenge negative attitudes to disability.
“There are one billion disabled people in the world. Let’s see disabled people’s lives properly reflected, not imitated.”
Vogue gave Buzzfeed Brazil the following explanation:
“This is not a Vogue magazine campaign. It was conceived by the actors Cleo Pires, Paulo Vilhena (game ambassadors) and the Agency Africa.
“Vogue along with Editions Globo Condé Nast, only supports the initiative as well as supports any initiative that encourages attendance at games.
“Vogue respects the opinions of readers who disagreed with the campaign format, but reiterates its commitment to promote the importance of Paralympics. We will continue to support all of the Paralympic committee initiatives that encourage attendance at games.”