St. John Fisher College
Locating Disability in the Body Positive Campaigns: Advertising & In/Exclusion
This paper explores a three stage history of the advertising industry’s movement from near total exclusion of people with disabilities in advertising imagery to very limited inclusion to more progressive campaigns. I argue that the advertising industry helps to construct the symbolic meaning attached to disabled identity and as such, it plays a central role in raising public awareness about disabled people. Campaigns like Pro Infirmis’ “Because Who is Perfect? Get Closer” challenge normative constructions of beauty as able-bodied and have the potential to broaden cultural understandings of embodied beauty and diversity.