An Essay on Edward Scissorhands and Disability Stereotypes
BKA7E8 Edward Scissorhands Year : 1990 Director : Tim Burton Johnny Depp Movie poster (USA)

An Essay on Edward Scissorhands and Disability Stereotypes

Hi!  This guest post by Sha-Myra is a fantastic treatise on how the movie Edward Scissorhands starring Johnny Depp showed how able-bodied people were perceived to have treated the disabled.

Edward Scissorhands is a classic film.
Released December 7, 1990
The film depicts a young Johnny Depp as a scientist creation companion. However, his creator suddenly dies and he is left unfinished. As an actor, I found this film relatable.
Points that no one notices-In the film he has scissors for hands and there are many things that Edward can’t do, however despite his “handicap” he does amazing things for the fictional town and is the most genuine character out of everyone in the entire film.
This film was also one of the first times the main character carried a major mainstream film with a handicap.
The film shows many common stereotypes as well as major things that other people often ignore when interacting with someone who is disabled. Edward learns feelings of empathy, anger, love, resentment, remorse and confusion throughout the film despite his “deformity”.
As in real life, people focus on what’s in it for them instead of just appreciating simple qualities when befriending a person with disabilities.
I also noticed that just like in real life everyone had their specific biased attitude toward Edward and were never concerned with what he wanted.
He was only cared for when he was useful or a spectacle. Once he became a nuisance everyone ignored him except the love interest depicted as a wide-eyed blonde played by Winona Ryder.
The film shows you as a whole why people with disabilities are treated badly and end up isolated often.
Disabled people deserve the same chances to live and act as much as anyone else. 
Disabled people are not burdens or tragedies.
Disabled people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect that we give others. 
Disabled people are not charity cases or inspirations.
Disabled people deserve the human right to be themselves without needing to be useful.
Disabled people are not children and do not need ableist people making their decisions and assuming superiority.  

The Guest Blogger, Sha-Myra is a disability activist and huge film buff from DeKalb, Illinois. Sha-Myra believes in accurate media representation. She also performed in the theatre for six years.

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