Inspiration Porn

(a note on the tone of this post: it is intended to be entirely sarcastic, showing both the nature and some of the problems of inspiration porn in a humorous fashion)

 

Are you an able-bodied, neurotypical person? Do you like to watch videos of disabled people doing a thing in order to feel “inspired”? Have you ever wished you could make your own video so other people could feel inspired? Well look no further! Here is a step-by-step guide to making your own inspiration porn.

1. First, you will need to find a disabled person. Perhaps you have an autistic family member, or you know someone at school who has down’s syndrome, or you have a coworker who is paraplegic. Really, pretty much any disability will do.

2. Take your camera or camcorder, and record the disabled person having a personal moment of triumph. Now, inspiration porn is best if you make it out of a genuine triumphant moment, but it does not actually need to be. It can even be as simple as your paraplegic coworker moving from their wheelchair to a desk chair, or an autistic child petting a cat and smiling.

3. Now you are ready to take that moment of triumph (or everyday, ordinary activity), and create inspiration porn out of it. Start by adding some sappy inspirational music.

4. Add words.

This step is the most important. So much of inspiration porn is how you talk about is. A dramatic voiceover is, by far, the best. However, a paragraph description or even a carefully worded title will work as well.

First, establish that being disabled makes a person “broken” in some way. You must provoke pity in your viewers and convince them that the disabled person’s life was barely worth living until this moment. Bonus points if you use the word “tragic” to describe the person, or even better, to describe their entire existence.

Then, have a rising crescendo of their personal triumph (or everyday, ordinary activity). It must be conveyed as nearly miraculous and definitely life-changing. The viewer must feel amazed that it ever happened. Go ahead and imply, or even outright state, that it would only be reasonable for the viewers to assume that the disabled person is incapable of doing the things that non-disabled people do.

And there you go! Put it up on youtube and sit back and relax. Now you, too, have removed the humanity of a disabled person, taking their personal moment of triumph (or everyday, ordinary activity) and turning it into packaged up, condescending claptrap that exists only so that non-disabled people can have feels about it. As we all know, a disabled person’s triumphs are never really about them – the triumphs are actually about how the rest of us can feel about them.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Inspiration Porn

  1. Eliza

    Thank you for bringing up the similarities between people with different disabilities. My son is deaf, with a CI, and we sign. I enjoyed your piece on that. The majority of your commenters missed the point of the post, too busy to spout the same perspective they always do, in every forum; that your experience is invalid if it is different from theirs. You’ve opened my eyes to better appreciate the autistic people in my life. Thank you.

  2. I’m sorry this inspired vitriol. As a parent of an adult son with Asperger’s and Cerebral Palsy, I appreciated the post.