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Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Disability in Television

Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Disability in Television

There’s a long history of problematic representation of persons with disabilities in film and television. From being portrayed as villainous or helpless (see Darth Vader and Tiny Tim) to being used as inspiration fodder or the butt of a joke (Forrest Gump), persons with disabilities have often been used as plot devices rather than being portrayed as human beings. However, despite this long-standing trend, things are changing.  Arguably one of the best television shows of all time, Breaking Bad, did wonders for representations of people with disabilities with the...
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Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings And Representations Of Multiple Sclerosis

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings And Representations Of Multiple Sclerosis

When it comes to representation of people with disabilities in film and television, we’re progressively starting to see some growth and change. But while we’re starting to do away with the harmful tropes of the past, there’s still a lot of work left to be done.  People with disabilities – be it an addiction, mental illness, neurological condition, or physical disability – tend to be forced into certain categories. For the most part, they’re used more as plot devices than characters in their own right. In this way, their humanity is stripped from them, and...
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Selena Gomez and Disability Visibility

Selena Gomez and Disability Visibility

It can be difficult to live with a disability, especially an invisible disability, in a world that treats them as something to hide, mask, or be ashamed of. They’re not, and it’s high time we shifted the how we think about those with disabilities. Some celebrities are helping to shed that stigma by making their own disabilities more visible, and not shying away from being part of the public discourse. Selena Gomez is a shining example of this.  At about 20 years old, Gomez was diagnosed with lupus. A chronic autoimmune disease, lupus essentially causes the body to...
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The Link Between Workplace Stress & Mental Health

The Link Between Workplace Stress & Mental Health

People are increasingly aware of the prevalence of mental health issues in the workplace. It is estimated that one in five Canadian workers are struggling with a mental health issue at any given time. That figure translates to roughly 3.4 million people, 500,000 of whom call in sick every week due to a mental health condition. However, many Canadians may not realize that work-related stress is one of the most significant contributors to those numbers. In a study of Canadian workers, the Globe and Mail found that a full 34% of those dealing with a mental health problems...
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Mental Illness Touches Everyone: Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade

Mental Illness Touches Everyone: Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade

This article deals with sensitive subject matter around the topic of suicide. If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, please contact your province’s Suicide Prevention Crisis Centres. There is help out there. On June 5th, 2018, news broke that famous fashion designer and icon Kate Spade had died. The world very quickly found out that the cause of death was suicide. She was 55. Just days after, on June 8th, 2018, passing of celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain was announced. Again, the cause of death was suicide. He was 61. Andy Spade, Kate Spade’s...
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Anorexia In The Media: To The Bone and Thin

Anorexia In The Media: To The Bone and Thin

Anorexia is often incorrectly perceived as a choice an individual makes based on vanity. There’s a preconceived notion about anorexia as something that’s mostly experienced by fashion models and those preoccupied with physical beauty. Although there is an epidemic of negative body image perpetuation through mainstream media, mainly through photoshopped images which project unrealistic and unhealthy types of bodies that leave many feeling unattractive and unhappy, eating disorders are complex and complicated mental health conditions. Diet fads and messages about thinness...