Wow. there are a lot of stupid people raising kids right now, as demonstrated by the outrage expressed by several British parents at the sight of a TV show host who only has one arm. They lodged complaints, they left horrible messages all over blogs and message boards saying that the sight of Cerrie Burnell, a woman who was born with only one arm, was going to give their kids nightmares and was forcing them to talk about disability issues before they were ready.
Ok, let’s start with the nightmares part. If someone came in with a chainsaw and rendered Ms. Burnell minus an arm on live TV, yes, that would give your kids nightmares. but the sight of someone who only has one arm is not going to scar a kid. Toddlers are about as un-scarable by disabilities as you can get. There was a guy who came and spoke at our school who was born with no arms because he was a thalidomide baby. He said that kids consistently do the same thing. they walk up to him, go “Woe! Where are your arms?” and when he explains that he was born that way, they don’t care and want to watch him play the piano with his feet. Yup, sounds pretty much the same as their reaction to my eyes doing the wabble jjiggle dance routine they do all the time. they ask about it and then they don’t care. I think the people having the nightmares are the closed-minded parents.
and as for the having to discuss disabilities before they’re ready thing, waaa waaa waaa, cry me a river. You never know when you are going to have to talk about something difficult. I’m not a parent and even I know that. You don’t get a warning. If you’re a good parent, you’ll figure it out and you won’t fill your kids with fear about the subject.
thank you, BBC, for having enough balls to nicely tell these parents to go stuff it and not fire her just because a few closed-minded individuals find her unsightly. and to all the parents who complained and left vicious messages all around the net, shame on you. I hope your kids never become disabled, because I’m afraid of how you’ll treat them. Open your eyes, come out of your safe bubble and realize that people with disabilities are just as human as you, me, and your poor, supposedly fragile little tykes who can probably handle the issue better than you can.