Last Updated 04 Feb 2023

The Negative and Positive Influence of the Media on People with Down Syndrome

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What kind of influence has the media exerted on people with Down Syndrome? In the twenty-first century, the media has had a great influence in the world. They have informed people of the state of society and given both positive image and negative images. Although the media of Japan has given negative images of Down Syndrome to society, the media of many countries are making positive changes to support dreams of people with Down Syndrome. In Japan, although most people receive information from the media every day, the media has not given positive images of Down Syndrome to society. As one of the facts, there are almost no movies which are played by actors or actresses with Down Syndrome in Japan. Much less, there are almost no actors and actresses with Down Syndrome.

Even though there must be people with Down Syndrome who want to be actors or actresses, most media production companies are eager to hire popular public figures who are perfect, because they set a high value on the audience rating. Those media production companies place importance on their own benefits more than focusing on people who have messages. Other than that, there is a fact which shows that media of Japan has a negative impact on people with Down Syndrome.

When you type, “Down Syndrome public figures Japan,” in Japanese and click the search button, you see many titles which show public figures who have children with Down Syndrome on the screen. The media creates the negative image that having children with Down Syndrome is hard. The media focuses on only negative images like the difficulties of becoming independent for people with Down Syndrome. The information about Down Syndrome which is spread by the media of Japan is very slanted. In contrast to Japan, the media of many countries are making positive changes to support people with Down Syndrome.

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These days, there are many people with Down Syndrome whose lives have been changed into better ones by the media. For example, Lauren Potter, from the U.S., is a famous actress who has Down Syndrome. She is famous as Becky Jackson, a member of Glee, an American musical comedy-drama. She described that she had been stared at and made fun of by other kids when she was young because of Down Syndrome. She really hated to be teased, however, becoming famous due to Glee made her life wonderful. Most of the kids who made fun of her got her posters and said, “She is really great, and we love her so much.”

The media can change the lives of people with Down Syndrome into better ones. Furthermore, in Australia, there is a woman with Down Syndrome who became a fashion model. Her name is Madeline Stuart. She decided to be a fashion model when she saw a fashion parade in Australia, however, it was hard for her to lose her weight and keep it because of Down Syndrome. She made a lot of efforts to lose her weight, and the media covered her efforts. After that, she became famous and be the first model with Down Syndrome who walks the runway in New York Fashion Week. This event was also covered by a lot of media with Madeline’s message that we should not discriminate against people with disabilities.

The media can pass messages which people with disabilities have to society. Natalie Goleniowski, a five-year-old girl from the U.K., is also a fashion model with Down Syndrome. She was born with severe heart disease and Down Syndrome. Her parents lost hope for Natalie’s future. However, she grew up healthy, and one day, she was scouted as a child model and signed up for two big children’s clothing companies. This news gave pleasure and confidence to her parents and many parents who have children with Down Syndrome.

People with Down Syndrome are not only people with Down Syndrome, they have their own dreams just like everyone else in society. The media of many countries is trying to tell about this fact to society. Although the media of Japan has given negative impressions of Down Syndrome, the media of many countries is making positive changes to support people with disabilities by telling about them to society. The media can be good tools for people with disabilities to tell about their experiences, efforts and dreams to society. Therefore, the media should not have a negative impact on people with disabilities.

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