Melbourne, June 30 : Thought modelling was the domain for those long-legged sassy babes whom we see on the ramp? Well, then wait for BBC's new reality series that will feature disabled women showing their modelling skills for making it big in the fashion industry.
The BBC has launched a controversial new series, in which the audience will get a close look at the lives of eight young disabled women trying to try their hand in modelling.
Made on the lines of the highly successful format of the America's Next Top Model franchise, Britain's Missing Top Model will be a six-part series and has it s catch-cry: "Stylish, sassy, chic ... disabled?"
The eight contestants have come from the UK, The Netherlands, and the US, and are between the age group of 19 to 27 years.
They include a woman whose arm was severed in a bus crash, another who is profoundly deaf and an aspiring film director who suffers from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder, and largely confined to a wheelchair.
"Eight contestants live together in a fully accessible apartment, get fashion model training from the best in the business, and fight it out for the ultimate prize ... their own photo spread in one of the country's premier fashion magazines," The BBC website was quoted, as saying.
According to the show's creators, they are expecting the series to challenge pre-conceived notions of beauty and at the same time would also raise disability awareness.
One of the contestants, Jessica Kellgren-Hayes, who often uses a wheelchair to get around, told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper: "I went into this program thinking it was an adventure, rather than a path to a new career. Although I don't want any of my dreams to be unattainable, I'm not sure if Britain is ready for a model with a disability."
A judge on the show, U.K. Marie Claire editor Marie O'Riordan, said that she has high hopes for the show.
"I do believe the program could help challenge our attitudes to disability. I want to see the winner shake up the fashion industry. These young women shouldn't be invisible to the fashion world just because they are disabled," she said.