Vogue Brazil slammed for photoshopping disabilities onto able bodied actors

Vogue Brazil has come under fire after revealing that the models used in their Rio photoshoot were photoshopped to look like they had disabilities.

The photos are part of a publicity campaign for the Rio 2016 Paralympics that appeared in the magazine and featured able bodied actors Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena.

#SomosTodosParalímpicos: para atrair visibilidade aos Jogos Paralímpicos e ressaltar a relevância dos paratletas brasileiros no panorama do esporte nacional, @cleopires_oficial e Paulo Vilhena (@vilhenap) aceitaram o convite para serem embaixadores do Comitê Paralímpico Brasileiro e estrelam a campanha Somos Todos Paralímpicos. Concebido pelos atores com o apoio do @ocpboficial e dos atletas, com direção criativa de @ccarneiro, fotografia de @andrepassos e beleza de @carolalmeidaprada, o anúncio traz Cleo na pele de @bruninha_alexandre, paratleta do tênis de mesa, e Paulo, de @renatoleite10, da categoria vôlei sentado. Os ingressos estão à 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

Both were digitally altered to look like real Paralympic athletes. Pires was given a prothetic to make him look like the Brazilian sitting volleyball player Renato Leite, while Vilhena had her right arm digitally amputated to look like Brazilian Paralympic table tennis player Bruna Alexandre.

The magazine shared the image of the pair on Instagram along with the caption, “We are all Paralympians.”

The photoshoot has been criticised by disability campaigners and people on social media.

Writer Natália Belizario, commented that there is “no shortage of disabled people to take the place of spokesperson in these adverts” and added that the Instagram caption “We are Paralympians” was inappropriate.

“No, we are not all Paralympians. We still do not understand the reality of people with disabilities,” wrote Belizario.

“We can all be supporters of the Paralympic movement, but it is always good to remember that the role, more than ever, is not ours.”

Brazil Vogue defended themselves against the backlash saying that they did not create the image but merely featured it in their magazine.

Model Pires also defended the image, saying in a video: “We lent our image to generate visibility. And that’s what we’re doing. My God.”

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