Just got through watching the first episode of Push Girls, an interesting new reality series about four attractive wheelchair-bound women living in Los Angeles. Sure, it’s great that they’re smart and spunky and directed. It’s great that they can do a lot to smash stereotype of ableism ,and show that people in wheelchairs can do all sorts of things, even be independent.
My only question is: Why does a reality series always have to focus on the most vapid traits in us?
Think about it. In Push Girls, there’s a quadraplegic trying to make it as a model. OK, not a problem. If you’re willing to break down those walls, more power to you.
My issue is that she’s 36. That’s paleolithic in model years. To this character, it seems like there are two jobs: working in an office, which she’s dismissed because of the lack of mobility in her hands and fingers, and modeling. Heaven help the rest of us.
Maybe I had my expectations up too high, hoping to see, say, a woman in a wheelchair who was a mechanic, or a teacher, or a member of the clergy. I was hoping to see paraplegic restauranteurs, travel agents, movie critics, and bankers. In short, I was hoping to see “real” people doing real things with their lives.
I live in Los Angeles, and I know there are a lot of body conscious, model and actor/actress-wannabee people here. I’ve just grown weary of everyone on earth wanting to be a model. I don’t wish this woman ill — not at all. I just wish the spunkiness in these women extended to doing things that — let’s be real and honest here — are just as valuable as having your picture taken, or showing up to auditions.
Why does seemingly every reality show have to start out with every single character launching a tour, putting out a record, getting their headshots taken, or heading to a high-powered meeting with an agent? Perhaps all the naked striving and jockeying for attention, even if it’s negative, was what lost me the first time around.
Hey, it’s never too late to turn the channel, I suppose.