Seven Dwarfs: up for ridicule or glory?

2011-08-31 by

Well done to Channel 4 for once again shoring up interest and helping awareness on disability and equality issues. Whilst many commentaries worried about the risk of further stereotyping and ridicule on some subjects – like the Guardian’s Vicky Frost mentions – the programme takes a fresh and non-judgemental look at the fun times, trials and successes of the seven dwarfs (or “short persons” as political correctness would have it).

They are a group of young people, living together during the Christmas season as they act as The Seven Dwarfs in the pantomime production of “Snow White” – the most successful panto in the UK.

I personally think the series is helpful in increasing awareness of disability issues but also at showing how disabled people are like everyone else – whilst maintaining their difference. Last night’s programme showed the story of Jamie John, 22 years old, the UK’s only dwarf drag queen. Showed how his relationship with his dad (also a dwarf) was instrumental in his self-belief and current success. It also showed friends laughing and joking and take the mickey out of themselves and their disability – reminded me of when I was a teenager, in training with other disabled young people and what laughs we had at ourselves.

And this is the best type of disability awareness one could wish for. Excellent work, I’m looking forward to the next episode.

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