In honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, an Italian organization did something special. To raise awareness and speak up for people with Down syndrome, CoorDown released a public service message featuring renowned Hollywood actress Olivia Wilde.
The clip shows Wilde living a normal life of a young girl, running towards her dreams, fulfilling responsibilities, maintaining the roles of a mother, sister, and daughter, and crying when she must.
However, the voiceover is done by Anna Rose Rubright — a young girl with Down syndrome who does not appear in video until the end, asking the viewers: "This is how I see myself. How do you see me?”
While the video was released for a good cause, and is a powerful message about perceptions of people with disabilities, some on social media have taken an offense to it. In fact, some online users have gone as far as to call it an ableist ad that is deleting the identity of those with Down syndrome.
#HowDoYouSeeMe is harmful to all who do not fit into any normalization/overcoming-disability-narrative. And that is ableist as fuck.— Mika Murstein (@MikaMurstein) March 16, 2016
They just do it in very ableist ways. #HowDoYouSeeMe— Kylie she/her (@queerdykekylie) March 16, 2016
Okay after seeing the #howdoyouseeme video (ableist af) and the primary results, I am now in a bad mood.— Kristin (@midwayrealness) March 16, 2016
The video, which itself does not look offensive at all, explains how a girl with Down syndrome sees herself and has aspirations like others her age. Using the actress in it also seems to be of no harm since she is standing up for the cause, and raising awareness for people with the condition, but in this age of political correctness, it’s hard to find something that does not offend anyone.