Kylie Jenner is facing backlash for a racy spread in the December issue of Interview magazine. In the issue, the 18-year-old reality star and youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner family is shown straddling a table and wearing some very NSFW latex pants, but it's the photos of her posing in a wheelchair that have many people, including disability advocates, up in arms.
Health spoke with Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability, a non-profit that focuses on increasing employment opportunities for Americans with disbilities, to weigh in on the photos. "Any effort to bring the wheelchair into mainstream media in a positive way is good. It's often a misconception that women who use wheelchairs aren't able to be sexy or even have sex, so to the extent that Kylie Jenner is portrayed as sexy while sitting in a wheelchair is not all bad," she says. "However, we are concerned that this portrayal of Jenner—who is not disabled—as an inanimate object and using the wheelchair as a prop, is unfortunate. Instead of being depicted as a prop, wheelchairs should be shown as helping women live free and independent lives."
Many Twitter users echoed this sentiment:
— Gregory Brown (@Whalewatchmeplz) December 1, 2015
I don't care what Kylie Jenner does. I really don't but can we not use her siting on a wheelchair a form of fashion?
— Kailia Sage (@KailiaSage) December 1, 2015
Seriously @KylieJenner, wheelchairs aren't "limitations" they're things that give people the freedom of movement and independence.
— Ophelia Brown (@bandaidknees) December 1, 2015
In the future, Glazer hopes Jenner will use her stardom to elevate the issue of how people with disabilities are depicted in the media. "She could use her platform and connections to feature real wheelchair users in a way that heightens sensitivity and awareness," she says, adding that Jenner's anti-bullying #IAmMoreThan Instagram campaign is a good example of this.
Although Jenner has yet to address the criticism of the shoot, Interview is defending the photos. "At Interview, we are proud of our tradition of working with great artists and empowering them to realize their distinct and often bold visions," a spokesperson said in a statement provided to E! News . "The Kylie Jenner cover by Steven Klein, which references the British artist Allen Jones, is a part of this tradition, placing Kylie in a variety of positions of power and control and exploring her image as an object of vast media scrutiny."