Jillian Mercado is a fashion blogger and the editor at We The Urban… She also has muscular dystrophy and relies on an electric wheelchair… A few months ago, she saw a casting call from clothing company Diesel. They were looking for young, hip models that represented a variety of cultural backgrounds. Mercado figured Why not? and sent in some pictures on a lark.
I just got chills. Never in my life have I seen someone like me in an ad, at least not one that wasn’t for a charity or for a disability-specific product. I hope more companies follow suit and include wheelchair users in their everyday advertisements.
I also showed the Diesel website to my mom. It took even her a few moments to realize what they did. This is how mass media works. This is why people with disabilities need to be visually represented as just that— People.
So I’ve been contemplating for a couple years now on how I should come about this. As I don’t like asking for help or discussing personal tidbits about my life.
In 2007, my mom was involved in a life threatening malpractice causing her brain loss, broken ribs and nerve damage in both her legs. Resulting in her using a walker. All in which wasn’t her fault. Even after the accident she is very optimistic and humble and hasn’t asked for a thing. She deserves a second chance at life and a little happiness considering what a crummy year she’s been having.
My mom has exhausted every possible means. Insurance, health benefits, relatives’ and friends’ kindness. I need about $20,000 to pay for all the medical procedures, a nurse, her move and a new working functional car.
I don’t know what else to do except to ask. I’m embarrassed to do so, but if it turns out you guys are willing to help, and If I didn’t ask, I would never forgive myself. Please help this amazing lady. I currently don’t have much but I’ve posted up a few reward options. You can donate any amount. I’ll be eternally grateful.
Read more about her story here:
And to think just earlier this week you had the New York Times calling Hollywood about their long time claims about not being able to lead movies. And now you have a big name comic and animated creator telling us exactly what Hollywood thinks of girls when it comes to shows targeted at kids.
Paul Dini is interviewed on Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast this week and during it he explains from personal experience how Hollywood devalues female viewers and female characters. Dini was, of course one of the creators on Batman: The Animated Series. He has also written and produced a number of other animated shows including Batman Beyond in addition to writing comics. The Emmy award-winning creator also had a live-action show targeted to younger viewers call Tower Prep.
In the interview, transcribed by Agelfeygelach Dini talks about the change in how Hollywood views the audience for animation (this starts around 41:00.- bold is mine)
But then, there’s been this weird—there’s been a, a sudden trend in animation, with super-heroes. Like, ‘it’s too old. It’s too old for our audience, and it has to be younger. It has to be funnier.’ And that’s when I watch the first couple of episodes of Teen Titans Go!, it’s like those are the wacky moments in the Teen Titans cartoon, without any of the more serious moments. ‘Let’s just do them all fighting over pizza, or running around crazy and everything, ’cause our audience—the audience we wanna go after, is not the Young Justice audience any more. We wanna go after little kids, who are into—boys who are into goofy humor, goofy random humor, like on Adventure Time or Regular Show. We wanna do that goofy, that sense of humor, that’s where we’re going for.’”
Okay, so they want younger kids. But wait, it gets worse.
Dini talks a bit about Young Justice and how it had a sophisticated mythology (he calls them “Buffy style stories) but now they have to be, based on his interactions and observations, funny and … NOT FOR GIRLS… (warning f bombs ahoy!)
Read the whole thing. Specifically interesting to me is the part where Dini says he had a show cancelled because the network executives told him too many girls were watching the show. As said during the interview, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The belief that superheroes are for boys, and girls don’t like them means that when girls DO like them, there must be something wrong with the show.
Also, maybe girls aren’t buying the action figures because a) the commercials about action figures usually show just boys playing with them and a male voice talking about them, b) toy sections are almost always separated into “boys” and “girls” sections and parents tend to take their children to buy toys at the “appropriate” section, c) most of the action figures made of a show are of the male characters, and those are the ones most often stocked in stores. The last point I’ve been noticing a lot for a while. I’ll go into a toy store to just look around, and I’ll notice that even for shows with female characters, all the action figures are of the male characters, and when I look at the back, I’ll often see they don’t even HAVE any figures out of the female ones in the line. So of course girls watching a show for the female characters fleshed out by Dini aren’t going to buy the action figures if those characters’ figures aren’t even made (or aren’t stocked if they are made).
(Since it’s DC Women Kicking Ass’ post, disqus comments are closed. There’s a discussion already going on their comments section and I don’t want to split it. :) )
I’m reblogging Eschergirl’s commentary, and I’m about to go read the whole thing, too.
I have issues with gender segregation of toys and target audiences of shows. Green Lantern Animated also suffered from “girls like this, eww eww cancel the show!”.
I worked on a small project with a toy company some years ago where they were adapting video game characters to their toy line. Half into the storyboard project, I realised there were no female toy figurines, and I inquired about this since I had been drawing female characters left and right in my rough, knowing the video game property was full of all gender players. The writer on the project was on my side, but said “the execs think girls have cooties and are only targeting 10 year old boys with this product.” Which clearly shows these execs have no idea who their demographics are, and also they keep reinforcing the huge, artificial, binary boundary between what boys and girls are supposed to like.
Of course, the mention of Young Justice is near and dear to my heart since I’m friends with some of the people involved in that show.
Go read the full article, that’s where I’m going now.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on my dash tonight about users who are threatening suicide, with other Tumblr members posting in effort to try to get ahold of them. I think you all should see this:
IF THERE IS EVER A TUMBLR USER WHO HAS POSTED A GOOD-BYE MESSAGE, SUICIDE NOTE, VIDEO, OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT, PLEASE FOLLOW THIS POST.
1. Scroll to the top of your dashboard.
2. See the circular question mark icon at the top? It’s the third one over from your home symbol. Click on that, and a screen similar to the one in the picture will come up.
3. Where you can type in questions, the box with the magnifying glass at the top, type in the word “suicide.”
4. Click on the first link that shows up. It should say, “Pass the URL of the blog on to us.”
5. Type in the user’s URL and tell Tumblr admin that the user is contemplating suicide and has posted a message indicating that they are going through with it or will be attempting. Hit send! Tumblr administration will perform a number of actions to contact the user and take the necessary steps to prevent the suicide.
TUMBLR: THIS COULD SAVE A USER’S LIFE. PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE SUICIDE THREATS.
Reblog this to keep other users aware. Suicide isn’t a joke, and neither is someone’s life. If you didn’t know this, someone else may not, either. Pass it on.
why on earth doesn’t this have more notes
I actually had to do this once. She lived.
if you scroll past this on your dash you are absolutely heartless.
Wow, I didn’t know this existed. I had to Google-stalk this girl’s parents down so I could call them and tell them she was in trouble.
Yup: this is worth a signal boost.
A couple of my friends pointed out this absurd LinkedIn post from the gentleman behind the actual monetary success of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade, Robert Khoo. Here it is in full — http://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/9887522?trk=job_nov — but allow me to summarize:
"We want someone who can code well in multiple front-end and back-end languages, maintain servers and other hardware including load balancing and database admin, do general office IT, manage your own projects, deal with the fact that one of our co-founders is a rampaging trans-phobic asshole, and be on call 24/7 though we hope not to bug you too much in the middle of the night.”
For this you get zero equity, a pathetic 401K match, “periodic bonuses”, and a salary described like this:
you should know up front we’re not a terribly money-motivated group. We’re more likely to spend less money on salary and invest that on making your day-to-day life at work better.
Now let’s be clear, here: Robert Khoo has built an entire career by being money-oriented. It’s because of his business acumen that Holkins and Krahulik have an empire, not a little webcomic that maybe pays their bills. Spending less on salary so they can “invest” that in the day-to-day working life? That’s being money-motivated. They will save twenty grand or more per employee that they convince with that line, and spend maybe a quarter of that per employee on “fun” office stuff each year … and even that much would surprise me.
Oh, and don’t forget this little gem:
We’re terrible at work-life balance. Although work is pretty much your life, we do our absolute best to make sure that work is as awesome as possible so you at least enjoy each and every day here.
I think the thing that frustrates me the most about it is: they’ll probably get a thousand applicants. A bunch of 25 year-old kids with a ton of talent and stars in their eyes are going to try to get this crap job for crap pay so they can work somewhere “cool” and feel like a part of something big. The Penny Arcade “machine” (their term) will roll on, making its millions of dollars while somehow retaining the “little guy” image that hasn’t been accurate for at least five years, and probably more. That’s one of Khoo’s many gifts — he has figured out exactly how to sell this company, even if the image they’re peddling is a load of horseshit.
This is a company that runs three massive trade shows a year, sells an incredible amount of merchandise, commands extremely competitive advertising rates, publishes multiple comic properties each week, runs their own gaming magazine, does paid story and illustration work for their ad clients, produces multiple web video shows, employs several other cartoonists, and has put out three video games.
They’re not hurting for cash, and they could surely pay four people to do the “four jobs” that this posting says the applicant must be able to do. They just don’t want to. They don’t even want to pay one guy a competitive rate to do those four jobs, because why bother? When you have an army of fans dying to work for you, why pay a realistic wage to a realistic number of people?
Let’s touch also on the other problem with that job advertisement: it’s complete nonsense.
I’m a “unicorn" … a designer who can code, and is actually good at both (and has been paid for both). In fact these days I’m more a coder who can design, but either way, the term "unicorn" makes it pretty evident that this is a rare thing. Some people hate the term, and that’s fine, it’s just here for reference. Anyway, you know what’s even more rare? A guy who can write excellent code in several disparate languages, manage multiple different server installs, administrate databases, and configure office firewalls. All while being motivated to do "tedious" work and manage his own projects while not caring about his work/life balance and being solely focused on the job.
That’s not a unicorn, it’s something more like a deity, and it doesn’t actually exist. There is no one out there who can realistically meet that job description. What they will get instead is a jack of all trades who has mastered very few or none of them, and who will have to scramble like crazy just to meet the base requirements of the job, let alone excel at them. You know why? Because as they readily admit, it’s a job that should require four people. You get what you pay for, guys.
I have met the original two Penny Arcade guys in real life. I worked with Mike Krahulik during his time at GameSpy, exchanged emails with him, went to Christmas parties with him. I’ve been to their trade shows, given thousands of dollars to their charity, and read every single one of their comics since the very first one, published in Loonygames, a publication for which I also wrote. Hell, I’ve been drawn by Krahulik multiple times (here and here among them). I do not “hate” Penny Arcade, or wish them ill.
But I’m offended by this job post and I sincerely hope people will avoid responding to it. You don’t want that job. There is no upside to taking it. You’ll be worked like a dog and paid like shit while you’re doing it, while Khoo, Krahulik, and Holkins continue cashing their trade show checks.
Robert Khoo is a brilliant businessman, and such businessmen excel by finding the sucker and exploiting him or her.
Don’t be that sucker.
This is so much like the young artists working for “Exposure”. Signal boost.
Oh hey look, a 12 year-old just grasped the main concepts of The Hunger Games more accurately than most media networks.
So much truth. The love story, which in the first book is more one of “he has feelings for her but she doesn’t have any for him and then she breaks his heart”, is so secondary to the plot of the series that it really shouldn’t be what people cling to.
I’m team Katniss too.
True Patriot 2 is so close to being fully funded! We only need about 15 book orders. Anyone interested in Canadian superheroes by the likes of Jay Stephens, Scott Chantler, Faith Hicks, Jeff Lemire, J. Bone, Ron Salas, Adrian Alphona, Paul Rivoche, Andy Belanger… https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/578037098/true-patriot-volume-2
Come! Get this book! The first one is great!
This graphic is fabulous. It represents a tiny crash course in rhetoric. Learn these things. Put them on your wall. Whisper them into the breeze. These are THINGS TO KNOW.
Bookmark this shit and the next time someone begins gobbling nonsense at you on a social network, instead of engaging, point them to this handy chart. Also useful: Thought Catalog’s “How To Have A Rational Conversation" flowchart.