Albinism in Popular Culture - Albinism and Fiction - Subjects of Ridicule and "freaks"

Subjects of Ridicule and "freaks"

Recently, there has been an increase in the number albinistic characters who are mocked (sometimes by the actual works in which they appear, an instance of albino bias itself, and sometimes by other characters in a way that highlights albino bias).

  • "Powder", the eponymous character in the movie Powder. The name can be seen as mocking or derogatory; however the depiction can be seen as positive in its portrayal of the effects of bias against those with albinism.
  • Autumn Lynn Henderson, the sister of the protagonist in "Mercy Among the Children" by David Adams Richards. Already an outcast in their small New Brunswick town because of their father's reputation, she is further alienated during her adolescence due to her albinism. Her brother (and protagonist) Lyle tries to make Autumn's life easier by purchasing a wig and contact lenses for her, but it helps very little in the treatment of her by the other children.
  • Casper, a.k.a. "Whitey" or "Q-Tip" (played by Michael Bowman), in Me, Myself and Irene (2000). His alleged real name is as mocking as his nicknames. He is the subject of a good deal of ridicule, which may be accurately representative of the casual discrimination that people with albinism are often made to suffer, and is accurately depicted as having impaired vision, and is a vital friend of the main characters. The genuinely albinistic actor "somewhat regrets" taking the role: "I worried that it was sending the wrong message."
  • Cee-Cee, a character in "The Mediator" novel series by Meg Cabot, is ridiculed by her classmates. Generally portrayed fairly accurately as a person with albinism, wearing protective clothing, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses outdoors, though said to have purplish irises even though that is rare. While described supportively, as intelligent. On the other hand, Cee-Cee's aunt, who also has albinism, reads tarot cards and speaks with the dead.
  • Harold Kline, in Ghost Boy, a novel by Iain Lawrence, is an albinistic youth who ran away from home and ended up working in the circus with the other "freaks", as people called them. His portrayal is supportive, but the "freak" label is not, even if accurately depicting biased attitudes.
  • The hermaphrodite in Federico Fellini's Satyricon.
  • One of the sangomas, or witchdoctors, in Shaka Zulu has albinism.

Read more about this topic:  Albinism In Popular Culture, Albinism and Fiction

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