The other day I threw my back out while visiting DC, a painful three hours of travel from my home in Brooklyn. After two days laid out on a friend’s bed, unable put on my own socks, I took a handful of Advil and got on a plane.
The trip was full of all sorts of scary problems: How would I take my shoes off at security? How would I get my luggage from the apartment to the cab? How would I walk to the gate? etc. These once invisible challenges made me question a lot about my own assumptions about society and disability. With a the last week of very limited mobility I turned to the internet for some answers and inspiration.
Stella Young, a comedian, a writer, an advocate, and a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer refers to the above image as “inspiration porn” in her in her 2014 Ted Talk . Inspiration Porn is the objectification of disabled people and their experiences for the benefit of others. This objectification, according to Stella, dehumanizes disabled people turning them into objects to be admired for feats non-disabled people do, often without thinking.