Does Candace Owens Not Know How Underwear Works?
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Conservative pundit Candace Owens is again spewing her horrible, hateful views. This time, she’s decided to come for the disabled community, and I, for one, am not having it. “What’s upset her now?” I hear you ask. Well, Kim Kardashian’s underwear brand recently premiered a new campaign for adaptive clothing, and one of the models uses a wheelchair, so naturally, she’s mad about it. Does she think people in wheelchairs can’t wear underwear? Does she not know how underwear works?
In a new clip from her podcast (which is very originally titled Candace Owens Podcast), she discusses the photo shoot. She starts her rant by saying, “Really? I don’t really understand how far we’re gonna take this inclusivity thing … Why did they do this? I don’t know why this needed to be done. I’m just getting tired of this all-inclusivity thing.”
She continues on her spiel, saying that if it were her brand, she would ask, “Whose idea was this? Was it your idea? Okay, you’re fired.”
I think, like many conservatives, Candace enjoys attracting flies with the amount of shit she spews, because there’s no other explanation for being (or at least pretending to be) upset about this, and if she were to look at the statistics, she would see that this “inclusivity thing” is a big deal. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide, meaning that one in six people has some form of disability. I am one of those people, and whether or not you want to argue that this is “political correctness” being taken too far, or that it’s for publicity and quotas, to make Kim look good … In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. It’s still positive representation, and considering how horrendous disability representation usually is, this is like gold dust.
After Owens posted the episode of her podcast, the model who features in the new campaign, advocate Haleigh Rosa, told The Mirror, “I think it’s horrifying what she said. It’s disgusting and it’s setting a really bad example for people that actually do follow her.
“I don’t think any body is not worthy of being seen and the fact that she chose my body to talk about how basically unimportant people in wheelchairs are, and the fact that we shouldn’t even be shown was disturbing.”
Haleigh, who became paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash eight years ago, continued by saying something I think we can all agree on: “I mean, I would have no idea of knowing what goes on in that woman’s brain. I think that she’s a loose cannon that is constantly looking for the next controversy.”
I think that if Candace actually spoke to disabled people and wasn’t sat in that very small, very dim echo chamber, she would learn that we’re actually just like her. We are human beings, too. I think we should start small, with me, because I’m not scary, Candace. I won’t bite—I promise. Although I’m not a full-time wheelchair user, I do use one when I need it. To see a disabled body repping nice underwear (and for a big company owned by someone like Kim Kardashian) is pretty damn cool. So yeah, I’ll never tire of inclusivity. I want it in bucket loads, droves of it.
I wonder if her unease at this campaign comes from going her whole life not interacting with someone who has a disability, if maybe all she knows are TV and movie portrayals. Maybe she’s so deeply infantilized the community that seeing someone in a wheelchair in their underwear made her have an internal crisis (spoiler alert, honey, we even have sex—hope that didn’t tip you over the edge).
She did ask for those in the disabled community to “educate” her: “Today I just wanna be educated in the comments. If people that are in wheelchairs were thinking as they were looking around ‘You know what really upsets me? I’ve never seen a bra and underwear advertised with a girl in a wheelchair.” But clearly in bad faith when, in the next breath, she went and mockingly asked, “I mean, are we gonna be on crutches [asking] ‘how come we don’t have a girl that’s broken her leg on crutches?'”
Well, Candace, this would be because in most cases, broken legs heal and people no longer need to use them (though some people with mobility issues use them daily!) so a bit of a silly argument, no?
I’m not the only disabled person who’s pissed about Owens’ comments. Many have called her out across social media.
Owens isn’t the only one with an ableism issue, though. Research by the U.K. disability charity Scope, in 2018, found that one in three disabled people felt discriminated against, signifying that it’s a pretty big problem. When people are uneducated, instances like this happen, and people are affected. Words are powerful. I should think that as an author, Candace Owens would know that.
(featured image: Davis/Getty Images)
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