Friday, 7 October 2016

Rainbow

 

Red and yellow and
Pink and Green
Purple and orange and blue

I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow too

Listen with your eyes
Listen with your ears
And sing everything you see

I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing along with me

R is for Rainbow

Who doesn't love a rainbow?
What do you think of when you see a rainbow?
  • Do you see the colours?
  • Do you see the shape?
  • Do you wish there was a pot of gold at the end you could get to?
  • Do you see the science behind the rainbow?
  • (A rainbow is formed by the reflection and refraction of sunlight in raindrops. When a ray of light enters a raindrop, it bends and gets separated into its constituent colors. How many colors are there in a rainbow? The answer is 7 amazing ones: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.
    Read more at buzzle.com)
  • Do you see God's covenant with His people? There will be no more floods that wipe out the earth like Noah's flood did?
  • Do you see the symbol for the gay and lesbian community and gay pride?
  • Or do you see beauty?

When I look at the rainbow I see diversity. To be precise, diversity in colour. This diversity in colour is on display everyday, all over the world, in the flora and fauna around us. We can also see it in the array of landscapes; from the bluest oceans, to the yellowest sunflowers, to the montage of colours that are painted on the birds that fly around us, to the orange dirt of the outback. Our world is a truly magnificent and beautiful place because of the all of the colours and mixes of hues.


I also think of the diversity in the colour of people. When I was little I remembering singing the following song in Sunday School:

 Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

When I see all the racism in the world as an adult, I really wish people could love each other the way Jesus loves everyone in the world, no matter what the colour of their skin is.


I think most people would say that they love the diversity of colours in our world too. But yet the diversity in the types of people in our world is not as well loved or accepted. The black man, the child with Down syndrome, the adolescent with the facial difference, the lady with the mental illness, the Muslim, the Christian, the homeless family, the indigenous youth... There are so many marginalised people in our community.

What I guess I am finding a trifle annoying at the moment, is that when one of these groups is used in a TV campaign or shown in the media, a big fuss is made about it. Does this big fuss, draw more attention to the fact that these people are marginalized?

Let me explain. The latest Kmart advertisement features children. Both boys and girls. The ad is promoting clothing and toys. This morning on the news, this ad was called 'controversial' because of the models used.


When I saw the ad myself, I had a reaction. My reaction was, 'Hey look there's a boy playing with a Barbie. That's awesome!' Why did I have that reaction? Two reasons. One because I've never seen any magazine or TV advertisements showing a boy playing with a 'girl gender' doll or toy, and two, I have a son who loves dolls. He collects dolls - and he is twelve. In the beginning it was a bit hard to get used to my son's obsession with dolls - why? Because society says that boys shouldn't like female dolls - they should only like action figures which are mainly superheroes. Now my son owns no action figures, and I bet there are other boys out there in the world who are the same as my son; they are happy in their masculinity and like dolls. Do we hear about these boys? No.Why not? Probably because most likely they consequence will be ridicule or being teased by trolls and other ignorant people.

The other type of marginalised group in the Kmart ad which has been particularly noticed, is a little girl towards the end of the ad, who is 'riding' an emu, has Down syndrome. A huge deal has been made of this. The headline for the news article I have linked above is:

Kmart television advert one of the first to feature model with Down syndrome

If the child was in a wheelchair, would the headline have been, Kmart television advert one of the first to feature model in a wheelchair? I am not so sure. Society still holds a lot of prejudice towards children and adults with Down syndrome. There is a meme going around Facebook that says: This little girl has Down syndrome but she is still beautiful. I want to slap the person who made this. This meme is implying that Down syndrome means she should be ugly. How stupid is that? Does the fact that these children are born with almond shaped eyes mean they are ugly? I don't think so. That's absolutely ridiculous. Or is it because they are intellectually impaired that they are ugly? That too is absurd.

Now I must confess that I did put the write up on the Kmart ad on my Facebook feed. Why? Because I think it does raise awareness of marginalised groups, and I give kudos to Kmart for embracing diversity in their advertising. Am I adding to the fuss being made? Maybe in some ways I am. But as an advocate for the active inclusion of people with disabilities into society, and as a mother of a child who has Down syndrome, I think it is important for me to keep on putting it out there that people with Down syndrome and other disabilities, are more alike to the rest of the human race, than different. I hope that one day there comes a time when marginalised groups will be included in advertising campaigns and a fuss isn't made, because it will be a normal thing, not a 'first'.

Now when you look at a rainbow, what will you think about?




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