CBBC, the children's BBC channel, has recently hired a new presenter, Cerrie Burnell. Miss Brunell is bubbly and bright, and describes her favourite story as "either the Far Away Tree or Alice in Wonderland". Fine choices!
Miss Burnell was also born with only one arm.
It's tempting to think that in the 21st century we'd have just about out-grown the petty, childish prejudices of our shameful past and be able to see Miss Burnell's story preferences, or which games she likes to play ("Twister"), before we consider her physical appearance. But it seems this is not the case.
It seems that an angry mob of concerned parents - them again! - have taken it upon themselves to protect their delicate, lavendar smelling offspring from ever having to suffer the sight of physical disability by complaining to the beeb and demanding they hide this modern monster away! Concerned Mum from Pigshit, Somerset writes:
“Is it just me, or does anyone else think the new woman presenter on CBeebies may scare the kids because of her disability?”While a similarly distressed parent scrawls on the walls of her padded cell:
“I didn’t want to let my children watch the filler bits on The Bedtime Hour last night because I know it would have played on my eldest daughter’s mind and possibly caused sleep problems,”Won't somebody, please, think of the children?
What's wrong with parents these days? Why are they so fucking thick? Measles is endemic in society, teenagers won't take taxi rides with scary asians and one-armed women are causing little Johnny to lie awake at night bathed in sweat at the thought of being clubbed to death by a bloody stump. Why are parents so keen to impose their own prejudices and fears on their children, under the guise of protecting them? Who's to blame? The parents? THEIR parents? The media?
Kids are little imitation machines that mimic what they see around them. There's no reason to be scared of disability, not unless your parents blanche and cower and titter and mock at the simple sight of a woman with one arm. Come on...