Let's Give a Hand to Britain's Most Disabled Top Models!

July 8, 2008


Britain's Missing Top Model is a new reality show that pits 8 disabled women against each other with the winner receiving a magazine photo shoot and representation by a top modeling agency. It's exactly like America's Next Top Model, only with less limbs and no Tyra Banks.

The contestants come from across the world and live with a variety of disabilities. Seattle girl Jenny Johnson is representing the United States and is partially paralyzed after a severe car accident. Other competitors include Kellie Moody who is deaf, Jessica Kellgren-Hayes who uses a wheelchair, Kelly Know who has no left forearm and Sophie Morgan who is a paraplegic. Sadly Debbie Van de Putten who lost her arm in a bus crash, Lilli Risner who is deaf and Rebecca Le’gon who has a prosthetic leg have all been eliminated and will not realize their dream of becoming Britain’s Next Top Missing Model.

The competition has attracted criticism with calls that the show is exploiting disabled people for the sake of edgy, entertaining television. Marie O'Riordan, editor of the UK’s Marie Claire magazine and one of the show’s judges was reticent about appearing on the show:

When I first heard about the program, my immediate thought was would it all be women in wheelchairs. And I knew that if it was going to be some sort of freak show, I didn't want to be involved. But I very quickly realized there are many disabled people who are not in wheelchairs, and that is just one of the many preconceptions we all hold about disability. From being involved, I do believe the program could help challenge our attitudes to disability. I want to see the winner shake up the fashion industry. These young women shouldn't be invisible to the fashion world just because they are disabled.

Now it’s your turn judge. Are the girls hot or not?