‘Disability Gain’ and the Limits of Representing Alternative Beauty
In this conversation, Ann Fox, Matthias Krings and Ulf Vierke debate the concept of ‘disability gain’ and the limits of representing alternative beauty. The concept demands that we regard disability inclusion as a resource gain, instead of a resource drain. While this approach complicates and questions the societal definition and devaluation of ‘disability,’ it also raises a number of debatable issues. For example, what happens when ‘disabled’ bodies are commodified in an attempt to represent so-called alternative beauty? The conversation shows that, while the stakes for the fashion-beauty industry in extending aesthetic norms, pluralizing beauty and mainstreaming diversity are high, it manoeuvres within the economic logics of a capitalist market that, in its celebration of ‘difference,’ often reproduces forms of othering.
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