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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just Wrong...

At first glance, this public service ad is seemingly benign because promoting diabetes awareness is a cause I wholeheartedly support. With 507 new amputations occurring every day in this country, trying to increase an understanding between diabetes and limb loss is a noble cause.

However, after reading the accompanying article, I became disturbed by the photograph on the ad. I learned that the amputee on the ad is a PhotoShopped image. The model has both limbs and one was digitally removed for this picture.

I realize that images are digitally altered and enhanced as part of a normal editing process. Real life celebrities rarely resemble their photo images because PhotoShopping has become such an accepted norm. Despite the pervasive altering of images, I find this particular digital "enhancement" abhorrent.

There is an assumption that individuals portrayed on advertisements for "causes" have actually been directly impacted by that which they are promoting. I assume that the women featured on breast cancer commercials, touting to be survivors, have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I don't question the authenticity of these individuals because feigning such a devastating event would be in poor taste and would seem contrary to the awareness-raising endeavor. Using a bi-legged model and digitally removing a limb to create an amputee reeks of insincerity!

There are thousands of diabetic amputees throughout this country who would have been honored to participate in this awareness campaign. Why was somebody chosen who has not been impacted by limb loss to make the poignant connection between diabetes and amputation? With an active amputee community chomping at the bit to educate and to reach out to others, the effectiveness of this ad has been compromised by ignoring the population it is trying desperately to reach! In my opinion, using somebody who has actually experienced this complication would have been more effective and less insulting.


  1. Just to play devil's advocate in a mild way perhaps they were seeking to protect the identity of any true amputee to both protect their privacy and any possible backlash. I don't know what their motives were for using a photoshopped image, but I would be curious to know.

  2. As you know, I am not an amputee. The way that I saw this image was not as with an amputee but rather what can happen to us "bi-legged" people as you referred to the model in the photo. Personally, I don't think they are showing a true amputee because they want people to start to see themselves in a different light. I do sympathize for amputees but I have also learned a lot from my mother, who is a bk amputee herself, that it doesn't have to be a limitation. People, unfortunately, don't associate themselves well with others in the community. People these days look at what can benefit themselves. This image to me is the cause asking people to look in the mirror and imagine what it would feel like to be an amputee. I can see how you may feel offended and I also sympathize with your feelings towards it, but I just wanted you to maybe see it from the point of view of someone looking at the photo who has both lower limbs. They are trying to prevent type 2 diabetes to minimize limb loss from a controllable force, your own will power. Just an observation from a "bi-legged" individual who fully supports any amputee wanting to be "normal" again (however you may interpret the word).