Inspiration porn is a context emerging in the disability study that refers to the use of images or videos of persons with disabilities in ads. The images often tend to feature kids with disabilities, and they are undertaking a task that is associated with normalcy. The images and videos of such people might be ordinary performing acts, like running, drawing, driving vehicles, and hitting a tennis ball, with inspirational quotes like “disability is not inability” or “before you quit, try.” The use of inspiration porn in sensationalizing people with disability has been a controversial subject. The disability community condemns the manner in which activists and companies portray these images and videos.
The disability community views these actions as disrespectful because they are done primarily to make the ordinary group of human beings feel good about themselves and rather portray people with disability as a control experiment. The group without disabilities challenges themselves with the help of the task performed by an individual with disability. For instance, people will contemplate on how a person with disability survived without hands and will feel they can do better with their normalcy (Goodley, 2012).
The Cultural Artifact
There is a suitable example of the inspiration porn image, which contains the image of a little girl with no hands, but the little girl is holding a pencil with her mouth and is comfortably drawing on a piece of paper. The image is then captioned with a famous quote that reads “Before you quit, Try.” The intent serves as important to the ordinary human beings as much as activists have argued that it is a way of recognizing the disabled community through ads. The actual purpose of the image is to challenge individuals by turning their worries into perspectives. The targeted group will go home inspired and amazed by what the little girl can do without arms in comparison to them who have arms.
The disability community expects respect so that they can feel accepted in the society. The disabled community has viewed the aspect of inspiration porn as a tool that objectifies them because it does not mention their names often. The kid drawing on the photo is genuinely adorable, but there is no her name on the photo because nobody wants to know who she is. The activists behind the inspiration porn intend to suggest that people with disabilities live a difficult life that demands courage for one to endure it.
The primary aim of inspiration porn is to objectify the disabled community for the benefit of the ordinary group. Studies outline that the responsibility of ordinary people and those with disability are inseparable. People depend on disability to legitimize it, and this is the reason inspiration porn is common. People will use the results of performance by an individual with disability as a yardstick to measure their capacity limits. All acts of normalcy are invisible and unseen unlike the acts performed by people with disabilities. For example, if an ordinary person would have been used for an inspiration porn image, it would go unnoticed because normalcy circulates as an ordinary phenomenon, and an individual will not need to make an extra effort to perform it (Shapiro, 1994).
The image of the little girl drawing without hands inclines to put pressure on the audience of the same age. The audience will feel shameful if they cannot draw as the girl who has overcome the obstacle of disability and performs an ordinary task. The society will always discuss the disabled community, and this amounts to the process of objectifying the community by putting the article “the” on it to change something from a dynamic perspective and turn it into a singular identity. Additionally, the disabled community opposition of inspiration porn is much inflicted by the nature of the ordinary people. The disabled community is often angered by the manner in which the people have the tendency of constantly reminding others how normal they are by comparing their performance capacity with those of people with disabilities. Ordinary people perceive the image of the little girl with disbelief, but they still benefit form from the inspiration porn effect (Shapiro 1994).
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The inspiration porn prefers to use kids for their ads because kids’ images appear to be innocent and versatile. The image at hand makes the observer view the kid as undeserving the situation, making them motivate and inspire themselves by the belief that if the kid with disability can perform that much, they have a huge capacity to perform better. The danger emanates when the kid demands security and protection from the exploitation (Titchkosky, 2001).
As a rule, every parent is expected to be in the front line and admire their children’s breakthrough, and the society should grow full of compassion. The inspiration porn can still have advantages to parents who have children with disabilities. An ordinary parent seeing the discussed image will get motivated and think about their kid’s similar condition at home. The intent of the inspiration porn becomes beneficial to both people with disability and without disability because parents can have plans on how to improve their children’s condition. Nevertheless, ordinary people should not be amazed by the activities performed by individuals with disability because the disabled community did not pick their condition as a source of inspiration for people (Titchkosky, 2001).
When an individual with disability is performing an activity like jogging, an ordinary person jogging behind them in the morning is likely to pat the individual and congratulate them on their effort. The jogging activity done by the person with disability is not extraordinary because all people are performing similar activates and should not consider them as an inspirational aspect. The same can be concluded from the case at hand because the little girl on the picture is doing an act with which her peers can manage. Holding a pencil in the mouth instead of using the mouth is the most suitable condition in which her body can work the best.
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