Inspiration Porn Is The Microaggression You Don't Realize You Know
Start writing a post
Politics

Inspiration Porn Is The Microaggression Your Psychology Class Never Taught You

I guarantee you've interacted with inspiration porn at some point in your life.

778
Inspiration Porn Is The Microaggression Your Psychology Class Never Taught You
Bobbie Hall

Since college, I have become interested in disability studies. Maybe this is because both of my parents are disabled. Maybe it's just because I plan to be a therapist and many mental health disorders can also be considered disabling or disabilities by themselves. Either way, I am now minoring in disability studies and have begun to take a class this semester on the topic.

One concept in this class has been particularly eye-opening: inspiration porn. Inspiration porn seems like another version of a microaggression, which, according to Merriam-Webster is "a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group." In this context, the microaggression is called inspiration porn, which is when a disabled person is called "inspirational" just for getting up in the morning and living their life. Yes, I agree, the name is misleading, but I think the reason for that is to catch your attention. And didn't it do just that?

Anyway, you might be thinking, "Why is it a problem for me to think that or say that? It's just a compliment." Well, yes, I'm sure some people really appreciate it, like my mom who has only been disabled for a few years and is attempting to make a difference through the CDC's "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign.

But after many years of it, it might get old, especially if the disabled person doesn't think they're particularly inspiring. They're just living life. Even my mom is surprised when people think she's inspirational, as she's just living her life and doing her part to help people not make the same bad decisions she made.

On the other hand, some people are super inspiring, like Stephen Hawking, for example. But he's not necessarily inspiring because he did what he did with a disability. He is inspiring because he is one of the best physicists in the history of the world. Calling a disabled person inspirational really only becomes an issue when you are calling them inspirational to make yourself feel better about your current position.

It's maybe a hard concept to grasp when we've been ingrained to feel bad for disabled people, but disability in itself is not a bad thing. There's so much more I could explain about this notion, such as the social model of disability, but for the sake of not overstepping my boundaries as a new student and not making this too complicated, I won't go into that. For now, just understand that it's important to ask yourself: When you find a disabled person inspirational: Are they inspirational? Or are they just living their daily life as I do, in a somewhat different situation than I live life?

I don't speak for all disabled people, or really any, except for maybe my parents, but I still think it's important for us to be educated on topics like this one, though my previous statements don't necessarily apply to all disabled people. It sucks that we have to be "educated" on this kind of thing, possibly further marginalizing disability, but education is an important step in rights for any misunderstood group. Until we change our way of thinking about disability, disabled people can never truly be integrated into "normal life," and without education, that mindset will never change.

I hope that someday the mindset will change, but I recognize that the goal might take many years to accomplish. I'm no expert, but I hope I've given you some idea of what inspiration porn is, and I hope that you take it into your own hands to become more educated. Ignorance is not bliss; it is the enemy of progress.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

1616
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

3293

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.

4490
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Holidays With A Small Family

I wouldn't trade what we have for the world.

6404
Matt Johnsn

When I was a kid I always went to my grandparents house whenever we celebrated any sort of holiday. We were a decently sized family and it was always a blessing to be in their house and surrounded by love during the holiday season. However, that all changed when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The family then began to drift apart and life went on, and we ended up all celebrating our own holidays with other family members.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Safe Spaces Or Regressive Spaces?

Turns out shielding yourself from ideas can be detrimental to your ability to learn

4609
www.semipartisansam.com

College is a place for people who want to learn. That is the primary function of any academic institution. Its purpose is not to coddle us, nor should the community always be in agreement with us. We are supposed to surround ourselves with a variety of viewpoints that challenge us to learn, not the same repetitive points of view that make us happy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments