Vogue Brazil photoshopped able-bodied models instead of using actual Paralympians

In order to promote the Paralympics, most media outlets are featuring actual Paralympians.

But Vogue Brazil decided to take things in a slightly different, more questionable direction. For their latest photo campaign to promote the games, the magazine Photoshopped two able-bodied models, Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena, to look like they had physical disabilities. Photo editors removed Pires’ arm and Vilhena’s leg to look like actual Paralympians Renate Leite and Bruna Alexandre.

Both models are reportedly ambassadors for the Brazilian Paralympics committee, and each has posted screenshots of the athletes on their personal Instagram pages.

#SomosTodosParalmpicos: para atrair visibilidade aos Jogos Paralmpicos e ressaltar a relevncia dos paratletas brasileiros no panorama do esporte nacional, @cleopires_oficial e Paulo Vilhena (@vilhenap) aceitaram o convite para serem embaixadores do Comit Paralmpico Brasileiro e estrelam a campanha Somos Todos Paralmpicos. Concebido pelos atores com o apoio do @ocpboficial e dos atletas, com direo criativa de @ccarneiro, fotografia de @andrepassos e beleza de @carolalmeidaprada, o anncio traz Cleo na pele de @bruninha_alexandre, paratleta do tnis de mesa, e Paulo, de @renatoleite10, da categoria vlei sentado. Os ingressos esto venda em ingressos.rio2016.com. Vogue mostra os bastidores do shooting com o quarteto no link da bio. #voguenasparalimpiadas

A photo posted by Vogue Brasil (@voguebrasil) on

The campaign has been loudly criticized by disability advocates and their allies for failing to include actual Paralympians. Many advocates in the community are pushing for increased representation in media, and Vogue Brazil‘s latest campaign felt both regressive and familiar.

Still, others noted that both of the Paralympians were in the studio at the time the cover was shot, and took a photo with the models.

Pessoal, Venho esclarecer que estou super orgulhosa de fazer parte desta campanha que a revista #Vogue comeou a divulgar as primeiras imagens desse lindo trabalho. Nossos Embaixadores Paralmpicos Cleo Pires e Paulo Vilhena, nos ajudaram a intensificar e a propagar a campanha com intuito de gerar visibilidade ao Movimento Paralmpico e convocar a torcida brasileira para marcar presena nos Jogos Paralmpicos Rio 2016. Gostaria, de enfatizar que #SomosTodosIguais e por isso a Cleo Pires me representa. Nos prximos dias, vocs tero acesso completo da campanha. #VemComAGenteBrasil e espero contar com toda a torcida brasileira nas arenas assim torcendo, vibrando, cantando e comemorando conosco! #CarregoNoPeito o #CoraoParalmpico. @cleopires_oficial @vilhenap @ocpboficial

A photo posted by Bruninha Alexandre (@bruninha_alexandre) on

On her Instagram page, Paralmypian Bruna Alexandre came to the defense of the campaign:

“Personally, I have been clear that I am so proud to be part of this campaign that the magazine #Vogue began to publish the first pictures of this beautiful work. Our Ambassadors Paralympics Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena, helped to intensify and spread the campaign aiming to increase visibility to the Paralympic Movement and gathering the Brazilian fans to be present at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.”

People with disabilities are some of the most underrepresented in media. A 2016 study by Ruderman White Paper found that 95% percent of characters on the top 10 shows on American television do not have a character with a disability, even though one in five Americans do.

A 2012 study even found that diversity increases people’s willingness to shop.

The Paralympics run from September 7-18th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

BONUS: Corgi tea party

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/25/vogue-brazil-photoshops-models-paralympians/