The Importance of Disability Representation in Everyday Life

Exploring Representation and Inclusion: Barbie Movies and Disabilities

A few weeks ago, I saw Barbie and was pleasantly surprised at the film’s diversity.

By now, we all know that Barbie opened to massive crowds, glowing reviews, and internet sensation. As someone who was not into Barbie as a kid, I was caught up in internet hysteria and decided to see the movie.
I saw the movie at 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and the theatre was packed. I went in knowing very little but was pleasantly surprised with the diversity, intelligence, and humor the film possessed. The film also strove to promote inclusion and acceptance in a way the audience could not ignore.

As society evolves, so does our approach to storytelling. The Barbie movie is a testament to this shift, as it beautifully weaves a narrative that not only entertains but also embraces the theme of disabilities and encourages those to wear their differences proudly. Some argue it was a missed opportunity, but as a disabled person, I certainly didn’t feel that way. One of the first scenes in the movie features a disabled Barbie dancing with the crew. This is an in-your-face way of showing people’s differences and not allowing the audience to ignore or shy away from such feelings.

Many argue that this is the only substantial scene with a disabled Barbie, and while yes, that is true, we should celebrate that. I was excited to see a Barbie in a wheelchair being front and center, even if it was for a few short moments. As we celebrate this small scene in media, we look forward to a future where more films follow in Barbie’s footsteps, championing diversity and embracing the beauty of our shared human experiences.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Sabrina; I grew up in Mill Valley, California, and I love to visit when possible. I now live in Los Angeles, California.

Growing up using a wheelchair I knew my life would be very different. But I didn’t see people that looked like me until I started playing wheelchair basketball as a teenager. Then, in college, the visibility of disabilities grew (in my opinion and experience).

After graduation, I worked for the Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust, which helps people with disabilities supplement their government benefits with affordable, professional special needs trust services.

After leaving that job, I eventually got my paralegal certificate and currently work in Family Law.

Throughout my life, I realized the importance of representation and of people who look like you and have a similar experience. My experience as a wheelchair user may be different than others, but it may prove helpful for someone else.

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