It is not a goal, for most people, to spend more time than is absolutely necessary pondering the Kardashian-Jenner’s or why they do what they do. Reason being that their reasons for doing most things they do are actually quite simple and require virtually no time at all. Here is a brief list: fame, power, money, attention. There, that pretty much sums it up.
So, Kylie Jenner has posed in a gilded wheelchair. Why? Please see above. But the fact that she did it (and this is a minority opinion): love, love, love it! The pictures are not particularly provocative or stunning. In fact, the most shocking thing is just how plastic young KingKylie looks, but, as wheelchair user, the fact that she in a wheelchair, is so, so refreshing. It is for a few reasons, chief among them, placing a wheelchair in the mainstream and via a fashion magazine no less — well, that is just fabulous. Also, Kylizzle may not look great but the wheelchair sure as hell does. Rather than looking clunky, pedantic, black, plastic and full of nuts and bolts it looks sleek, futuristic and, almost, royal. It is gorgeous.
It is so gorgeous in fact that this author almost wept. A highly sexualized woman, a pop culture phenomenon being placed in a wheelchair? Newsflash: happens everyday. The world over. Highly sexual women (and men) who are attractive, bright, popular (in their own right), the list goes on and on, are in wheelchairs right now. They just are not seen, necessarily, as attractive, bright, popular (in their own right), or, really much of anything else. And that is the bigger problem. The flaw in the design. This needs to not be about Kylie Jenner as she needs not one more thing to be about her. It also needs to not be about her not being disabled but still being in a wheelchair. It needs to not be about those things because: what, in fact, is a disability and who says Kylie Jenner does not have one? What this conversation needs to be about is the fact that there are Kylie Jenner’s (i.e. young, attractive, etc.) individuals in wheelchairs rolling around all over the place and that this SO MUCH bigger than Kylie who, by the way, did not conceive any part of this photo shoot. It is about what images like these have awakened in us as a culture.
Any other part of this conversation is boring and lame and presupposes we know what a disability is and who needs what as a result. This is not about a wheelchair or who has a ‘right’ to use one. It never was. It is about how we perceive wheelchairs and the people who use them. Kylie Jenner can be a wheelchair user as much as this author is with the only obvious difference being that she does not (it seems) technically need one. But, who cares about that because anytime a wheelchair and wheelchair users can be so mainstream that the actual wheelchair is no longer a thing, that is awesome. So, roll on Kylie. Roll on.