What is Inspiration Porn?

Not long ago, I posted in here about the new ABC series The Good Doctor. I had praised the series, but I’ve now changed my mind. To explain, I will talk about a term I have learned about called Inspiration Porn.

The idea behind inspiration porn is that you are presenting a disabled person doing something ordinary people do–walking, running, dancing, whatever. Many disabled people are often offended by this.

The reason this is offensive is that it is demeaning. It is saying “look what this person can do in spite of his/her disability! You can be like this person and not let anything stop you from your goals!”

Here’s why this is wrong: you are actually using this disabled person as a means to make yourself feel better. This isn’t inspiring the disabled person, this is inspiring you. Ultimately, you set yourself above that person because you are saying “I don’t have to go through that struggle! I feel so much better!”

“So wait, you say, does that include stuff like Special Olympics?” No. Actually, this organization has the right idea. They allow their athletes the opportunity to have the fun we take for granted in athletic competition. They don’t say they are better than the disabled person; they help that disabled person feel as though he or she can accomplish something they thought they could not.

So please, do not prop disabled people to make yourself feel better. That is selfish and hurtful. Instead, help that person realize his/her true potential.

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Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

4 thoughts on “What is Inspiration Porn?”

  1. I can see what you’re saying here, Jason, and to an extent I agree, but I also think that people could look at that pic and think just that it’s amazing, period. I mean, here’s how I see it from my own experience. I’m a disabled person–I don’t walk without a cane; I have neurological difficulties which make finding my way around in a car ridiculously impractical and can lead to panic attacks–hence why I don’t drive, although I am capable of operating a car. Although I’m not in a wheelchair, I can’t run–so when I see pictures of other disabled folks triumphing over their own adversities, I don’t use it as a vehicle for pity. I think, ‘dang, that person is awesome’, and use it as an extra reason not to be a slacker in overcoming my own obstacles. I don’t have the perspective of an able-bodied person, but I would like to think that an able bodied person could look at such images with nothing but admiration–which i don’t see as condescending or bad.

    1. I do, however, hate the term ‘inspiration porn’, as I hate every other pop culture usage of ‘such-or-another porn’ to refer to things that are not, in fact, porn. In the name of good taste, people should just stop doing this, but they won’t.

      1. I understand you, I really do. I think the reason they use the word is that the mentality can be damaging to disabled people, just like pornography can be damaging.

    2. Oh yes, definitely. But I’m speaking to those people who use it to pity people instead of actually helping. Ever hear someone say to you when they’re angry “I don’t want your pity?”

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