First of all, the fact that we have a Miss Wheelchair America, and the award has been going on for nearly 30 years is astounding! I did not know that at all! That automatically brings up the question, do TV companies not feel the show is worth a televised event because there wouldn't be a market/audience for it? Are able-bodied women the only ones who can be objectified on television by a panel hosted by Mario Lopez? Nigeria disagrees.
The article notes that this pageant is not a beauty pageant, and the contestants are judged on "their achievements since the onset of their disabilities, their projection and communication skills, and their abilities to successfully advocate for over 20 million Nigerians with disabilities." Now although I see a hint of Marxism in the commoditization of the "beauty pageantry" but this specific event seems less of an excuse to see women in bikini's and evening dresses, and more of a feel-good marketing technique to spread the word "disability", "wheelchair", and "normalcy" around.
I don't mean to sound harsh, but as Joe brought up yesterday in class, there is hardly a doctor out there who doesn't believe that the human mind finds the disabled repulsive. I'm about to geek out, but I waited on line 8.5 hours last night for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the movie, Voldemort says "Professor Burbage believes that Muggles and Wizards are no different. She even advocates that we should mate with them." Voldemort and the Death Eaters strongly believe that the Muggles, or the disabled, do not deserve to live, let alone co-exist with the wizarding world. It's seen in the new statue in the Ministry of Magic, where Muggles are crushed by the "Magic is Might" monument.
Not to steer away from the Miss Wheelchair Nigeria, but in some respects, their plight is related to that of the Muggles in Harry Potter. Both are ostracized from society, because of a disability. My grandfather is a man of many wheelchairs. He has had 7 since I was born. Not because they break or rust, but because he likes to add knick-knacks, toys, and whizzing sounds to his wheelchair. At first I felt he wanted the image of himself in a wheelchair to look much more grand than it was, but I now know that he has realized that he will be in a wheelchair for life, and if he can't have fun standing, he sure as hell will have fun sitting!