“It’s hard to confront yourself with the daily physical pain. Prosthetics, after all, aren’t your legs. So you wake up with a biting pain in different parts of your body,” the 30-something Italian says, pointing at her tummy and hips, “You can’t walk exactly like you walked yesterday. It’s different, every day.”
In the 1930s America is suffering for the Great Depression. Many people are jobless and homeless, and everybody is sad and worried for the difficult economic situation. Mendez is the charismatic master of a small circus, the Butterfly Circus, and he leads his troupe through Southern California; along the way, they perform – sometimes for free – to bring some light in the dull lives of people. One evening, they stop at a funfair, where there are carousels, games and other entertainment. At the Carnival Side Show Mendez meets Will, the main attraction. He has no limbs and is on show as a trick of Nature together with other odd characters (the Tattooed Man, the Bearded Woman). Will is bitter and unhappy but after meeting Mendez he decides to leave the Carnival and manages to hide on one of the Butterfly circus trucks to escape. People in the circus welcome him but Mendez tells Will he must find his own way to become part of the act. Will starts to know his new friends and learns that many of them have a sad story: Mendez has given them a second chance in life. One day Will accidentally realizes that he can swim, so he decides to perform a difficult act in the Circus: he must climb a tall pole, from the top of which he then dives into a small tank full of water. Will is now happy as he is in the show not because of his odd aspect but because of what he is and what he can do.
Britain’s Missing Top Model was a British Reality TV modelling show aired on BBC Three. The première episode aired on 1 July 2008. The show courted controversy, with many speculating that the show made disability a spectator event.
The show followed eight young women with disabilities, who competed for a modelling contract (which included a photo shoot with Rankin and a cover photo in Marie Claire). Aired over a period of five weeks the women lived together and competed in a series of challenges and photo shoots. Each week at least one contestant was sent home.