Disabled people are not here for your inspiration

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We see a lot of disabled people in the media these days. But it’s not for the reason we want them to be there. They’re used for inspirational porn…

For a long time I have fallen for this inspirational porn too. Even with a disability, it was hard not to see through the lie that this world is telling us. Stella Young said: ‘We’ve been sold the lie that disability is a bad thing. And to live with a disability, makes you exceptional. It’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t make you exceptional.’

But that’s what the world does see. They look at disabled people, and applaud them for living. Applaud them for doing normal stuff. And even worse, abled people use disabled people for their inspiration. Stella Young calls this inspiration porn. Stella: ‘They say, well, however bad my life is, it could be worse. I could be that person.’

We don’t want to inspire you

But it’s not so crazy this is happening. Stella: ‘For lots of us disabled people are not our teachers, or our doctors, or our manicurists. We’re not real people. We are there to inspire.’ When you don’t see disabled people in day to day life, how do you know that they’re just as normal as abled people? That’s why we NEED more disabled people in the media, and just in day to day life in general. Stella says it just right: ‘I wanna live in a world where we don’t have such low expectations for disabled people. That we are congratulated for getting out of bed and remembering our names in the morning. I want to live in a world where a 15 year old boy is not surprised that his teacher is a wheelchair user.’

Check out the whole TED talk by Stella. It’s so on point!

How do you see disabled people?

Marit

Marit is the person who started Pretty Different. She was born with only one hand and has struggled with the crazy ideal of perfection. Since accepting that she's different, she started seeing the beauty in 'imperfection'.

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