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Wednesday 8 November 2017

This Deaf Model Called Out A Major Ad Campaign For Photoshopping Out Her Cochlear Implant

This Deaf Model Called Out A Major Ad Campaign For Photoshopping Out Her Cochlear Implant

The Deaf community is a powerful one, and unfortunately, it tends to be underrepresented. 
Deaf model Simone Botha Welgemoed was stunned when her photo shoot for an ad campaign photoshopped her cochlear implant out of the image. Her reaction to this and the way she stood up for her community is so important.

This is Simone Botha Welgemoed. She's a model and dancer from South Africa.

She was born Deaf and happened to be the youngest child in Africa to receive a cochlear implant at 22 months old.

Without the implant, Simone hears nothing at all. 

It goes without saying, but the cochlear implant is a major part of her life, and she's proud to be able to wear it.

She was initially thrilled to be chosen by Virgin Active to appear in one of their ad campaigns. 

The ad required her to pull her hair back into a bun and strike elegant ballet poses in a group with other models.

However, what was supposed to be an exciting opportunity ended up being quite a disappointment.

Once Simone saw the ad, she instantly realized that they had photoshopped out her cochlear implant.

Instead of quietly accepting it, she spoke out about how she felt in a Facebook post.

"I'm not somebody that just rants on about every little thing, but this is something that affects me personally and I am saddened by what I see," she wrote.

"They just went and without my permission decided to edit the cochlear implant out, because why!!???"

"It doesn't fit with their pretty little picture of portraying the perfect life that is Virgin Active?" she added.

She made it clear that nobody is perfect, but that she is "proudly hearing impaired."

She had hoped to inspire people with hearing disabilities to lead and enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

"I guess my cochlear implant shamed you so much that you had to edit it out," she said.

"Well you just edited out a part of who I am and didn't ask my permission and I'm not ok with that," she finished.

Although her cochlear implant being photoshopped is inexcusable, there is some good news that came from this.

Simone ended up meeting with the Virgin Active team where they apologized to her in person and offered her a free gym membership.

She was able to educate the company on her disability, and going forward, she is going to be assisting, advising, and guiding them in how they portray and connect to the hearing-impaired community.

Nothing like a silver lining, right?

Additionally, the company removed their photoshopped ad and replaced it with the original just days later. 

If you ask us, this version looks a million times better, wouldn't you agree?

It's so important that Simone spoke up about the photoshopping, and hopefully, other companies will learn that there's nothing shameful about a cochlear implant.

SHARE if you love Simone's story!

source : Instagram/Diply

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