When I first saw Pro Infirmis’s “Because who is perfect?” video on my Facebook feed, I was intrigued. A few minutes into the video, I was holding back tears.
Pro Infirmis is a Swiss charity organization for the disabled. They have a beautiful project called “Because Who Is Perfect? Get Closer.” For the project, they worked with Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmine Rechseiner; actor Erwin Aljukić; radio host Alex Oberholzer, athlete Urs Kolly; and blogger Nadja Schmid to create mannequins specifically modeled according to their disabled and handicapped bodies.
The Daily Mail reports that the project was created to “raise awareness of people with disabilities, specifically in the image-obsessed worlds of fashion and retail.”
After the mannequins were crafted, they were displayed in a store on a main shopping street in the city of Zurich. TIME magazine shares this was all done in honor of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.
In the video you get to see the amazing reaction of the models when the cover is taken off their life-size replica. The expressions on their faces are priceless. After seeing the mannequins on display, one of the participants said, “Seeing it there for real is quite a shock.”
This project brought joy to my heart. In college I was a disability assistant for a girl who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair. I remember an awkward time when someone almost entered the handicapped bathroom we were in. When they saw my friend they said, “Oh, sorry, I thought this was a bathroom for normal people.” The man seemingly meant no harm by what he said, yet his quick ignorant words did damage. I remember my friend saying, “I am normal” as the person walked away.
People have great value regardless of their age, shape, or race. We need to change our perceptions of what is normal and what defines beauty. For many unborn children, a disability can equal a death sentence. As we learn to appreciate the gift of life, regardless of how it comes, it will lead us to being a more merciful and compassionate society.
I hope to see more projects like this in the future. Seeing as how the video has over two million views on YouTube, I’d say I’m not the only one wanting more.