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definitions - poster child

poster child (n.)

1.a child afflicted by some disease or deformity whose picture is used on posters to raise money for charitable purposes"she was the poster child for muscular dystrophy"

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Poster child

                   

A poster child (sometimes poster boy or poster girl) is a child afflicted by some disease or deformity whose picture is used on posters or other media as part of a campaign to raise money or enlist volunteers for a cause or organization. Such campaigns may be part of an annual effort or event, and may include the name and age of a specific child along with other personally identifiable attributes.[1][2]

Alternatively, "poster child" is used in the common vernacular for a person (or organization) whose attributes or behavior are emblematic of a known cause, movement, circumstance or ideal. Under this usage, the person in question is labeled as an embodiment or archetype. This signifies that the very identity of the subject is synonymous with the associated ideal; or otherwise representative of its most favorable or least favorable aspects.

  Examples of rhetorical use

  • The Oakland County Intermediate School District (near Detroit) was cited as "the poster child for fiscal irresponsibility."[4]
  • Willie Horton who became a "poster boy" for the Massachusetts prison furlough program and the liberal sensibilities of Michael Dukakis in the 1988 US Presidential Elections.[6][7]
  • In the debate over capital punishment, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is often cited by anti-death-penalty activists as a "poster child for the death penalty" because his indifference to his victims, especially those who were children, made him appear irredeemably inhuman.[8]
  • Ryan White was considered a poster child for social acceptance of AIDS, after he contracted the disease from a blood transfusion and was expelled from his school.[9]
  • Harry Reid said in a statement, “I just spoke to the White House and told them that while the president (Barack Obama) is correct that people saving for college need to be fiscally responsible, the president needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn't be spending their money”.[10]
  • Mark Simpson identified David Beckham as the metrosexual poster boy in an article published on Salon.com.

  See also

  References

  1. ^ This convention was notably employed by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (see e.g., http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930422&slug=1697184) Obituary of Jolene Kay Worley, who in 1955 became the first National Muscular Dystrophy Poster Child.
  2. ^ [site:mda.org search:"poster child"]
  3. ^ "Bush pressured to drop UN choice". BBC News. May 13, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4542917.stm. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "For Oakland Schools, trust is still elusive", Detroit Free Press, February 9, 2004.
  5. ^ Finding Aid to the Bobbi Campbell Diary, Online Archive of California, Collection Number: MSS 96-33
  6. ^ "Willie Horton revisited; Who really played the race card first?" Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 6, 2000
  7. ^ Joe Domanick, Cruel justice: three strikes and the politics of crime in America's golden state, University of California Press, 2004
  8. ^ JURIST: Why We Shouldn't Execute Timothy McVeigh, April 23, 2001 and Online NewsHour: Witness To An Execution, April 12, 2001, among many other examples
  9. ^ "To a poster child, dying young," U.S. News and World Report, April 16, 1990
  10. ^ RAJU, MANU (2010-02-02). "President Obama backs down from Las Vegas dig". The Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/32412.html#ixzz0eVNAeBRN. 
   
               

 

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