Why Inspiration Porn Is Harmful To The Disabled Community
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why Inspiration Porn Is Harmful To The Disabled Community

A good attitude isn't going to conjure a ramp!

5947
Why Inspiration Porn Is Harmful To The Disabled Community
ABC

In my previous article, I discussed various disabled TV characters and how they properly or improperly represent the disabled community. The disabled community has been vastly underrepresented and misrepresented in the past. One of the biggest problems that the disabled community faces is only exacerbated by the misrepresentation in TV, among other platforms. This problem is known colloquially as inspiration porn.

Stella Young, an Australian comedian, journalist, and activist with osteogenesis imperfecta, is credited with coining the term in 2012. It is defined as "the calling of people with disabilities inspirational solely or in part because of their disability." Young beautifully stated the real problem the disabled community has with inspiration porn in a TED Talk. She defended the use of the word porn in the term, stating that it "objectifies one group of people for the benefit of another group of people." She says that we've been taught that disability is a bad thing, so if you live with it, you're exceptional.

Social media further pushes inspiration porn with images of people with disabilities doing things that able-bodied people can easily dow with captions such as "The only disability in life is a bad attitude" or "your excuse is invalid." The people in these pictures are being used to motivate able-bodied people to exist. The thing is, disabled people exist alongside able-bodied people. The only difference between them is an impairment, usually accommodated by some form of equipment. A kid in a wheelchair playing basketball is just playing basketball in a wheelchair. An amputee running is just running while missing a limb. A muscular paraplegic went to the gym and ate healthy, just like a muscular able-bodied people. That is just living life, but perhaps a little differently. The people in these inspiration porn pictures are just living life the same as everyone else, but perhaps in a different way than other people. I know that these things are meant to be a compliment, but it's actually dehumanizing. Disabled people do not exist exclusively to inspire you and motivate you.

Inspiration porn is harmful to disabled people because it keeps disability from becoming normalized. All disabled people want is to be accepted for who they are, impairment and all. They don't want to be exceptional because of an impairment. Disabled people get out of bed every morning and exist the same way as able-bodied people. They go to school or work, have friends and people they hate, have vices and virtues and everything in between. Existing is not an accomplishment. If it were, should everyone's picture be on Facebook with an inspirational quote? Would everyone be comfortable with that? No? Then how do you think disabled people feel about being objectified?

Inspiration porn also gives people the wrong idea about disability. It's not something to overcome. It's something that exists. Some days it isn't bothersome, and some days it's the biggest problem. You cannot possibly expect a human being facing something challenging to be happy. People in inspiration porn aren't always happy. No one is always happy. That's normal.

Able-bodied people can help to normalize disability by not creating or sharing inspiration porn. They can educate themselves about the problems the disabled community faces and help to advocate. And most of all, they can treat disabled people like people worth building relationships with, giving privacy, and respecting.

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

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1118915

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

709253
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

732541
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

472028
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

289783
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

431181

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

289809

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

194883
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments