Inspirational Porn

By
0 0 0 No comments

I’ve talked a lot about disability and society’s views of disabilities, but I wanted to share something that I see regularly on social media: Inspirational Porn. According to Wikipedia: “Inspirational porn” is the calling of people with disabilities inspirational solely or in part on the basis of their disability.[1][2] The term was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young in an editorial in Australian Broadcasting Corporation‘s webzine Ramp Up.[3]

If you’re still confused, here are some examples I found on the Internet:

Image result for inspirational disabled


This last one probably bothers me the most because it’s supposedly a quote from someone who genuinely inspired me with his actual story recently. Scott Hamilton is amazing… and to think his quote was used to promote inspiration porn kills me on the inside a little bit. Not to mention, Oscar Pistorius was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and this meme alone glorifies him and makes him out to be a “hero”. There are bad people who happen to have disabilities that make poor choices too. We’re not immune from that.

The problem with inspirational porn is that it focuses on the wrong thing… In most cases, it exploits innocent people… people that were doing something “normal” and someone decided to exploit their normal activity to make an “inspirational” meme. People with disabilities have to work extra hard at times and do things daily just to fit in and be thought of as “normal” or typical and HUMAN in a way that “typical” able-bodied people don’t have to think twice about. Inspirational porn posts take things out of context and spin it into something that it’s not. It’s completely unfair to the innocent party.

When I post my fitness journey, it’s not because I want to give the impression that if I (as a wheelchair user) can do something that you should be able to. I post it to remind myself to stay focused and to help myself to keep progressing. I would be mortified if I ever came across an “inspirational” meme of me going grocery shopping or doing a normal day-to-day activity.

We have to stop making people out to be heroes when they show kindness. Kindness should be a normal part of our daily life. Kindness toward a disabled person should never be considered “inspiring” when it makes the person with a disability seem more like an underdog. I know many incredible, hard-working individuals with disabilities that do as much as possible just to be considered “normal”. We don’t want a medal for just existing. We don’t want unsolicited memes to showcase that we’re the underdog. We want to be considered as normal, functioning, contributing members of society.

While I’m on the subject, the movie and book, Me Before You. I will preface this by saying I absolutely refused to watch the movie or read the book. It made me roll my eyes every single time I saw a preview. There was nothing positive in the preview (in my opinion) that showed the character with a disability in a positive light. The preview makes it look as if this guy had a disability and instead of making the most of his life, he decides to go the route of assisted suicide. I’m not going to even talk about whether I agree or disagree with the decision of assisted suicide. I will say that I DO have a problem when the media portrays disability as being so horrible that the person should just kill themselves rather than living with a disability… or that death is better than living with a disability. It sends the wrong message. It also portrayed the love interest as a hero for loving the man… in spite of his disability. Why do we feel the need to portray the disabilty community as a pity case or so unlovable or different that the person that chooses to love them MUST be the greatest person to ever live? It’s absurd.

I’ll wrap this up for now by saying this… Think about how you would feel if you were the person that was turned into a meme? We have to start putting ourselves in a position of feeling compassion toward others… and it is possible to feel or show compassion toward someone (or to even be inspired by someone) without making them feel like a pity case.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *