Inspiration porn

Inspiration porn is the portrayal of people with disabilities as inspirational solely or in part on the basis of their disability.[1] The term was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young in an editorial in Australian Broadcasting Corporation's webzine Ramp Up[2] (no longer published) and further explored in her TEDx Talk.[3] She rejected the idea that disabled people's otherwise ordinary activities should be considered extraordinary solely because of disability.[1]

Examples of inspiration porn often involve a photo of a child with a disability taking part in an ordinary activity, with captions like "your excuse is invalid" or "before you quit, try".[1]


Criticisms of inspiration porn include that it "others" disabled people, that it portrays disability as a burden (as opposed to focusing on the societal obstacles that disabled people face), and that reducing disabled people to inspirations dehumanizes them,[4][5] and makes them exceptionalist examples.[6]

In popular cultureEdit

The 2016 TV show Speechless explored the concept in an episode where it explains inspiration porn as "portrayal of people with disabilities as one-dimensional saints who only exist to warm the hearts and open the minds of able-bodied people."[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Ellis, Katie; Kent, Mike (10 November 2016). "Confirming normalcy. 'Inspiration porn' and the construction of the disabled subject?". Disability and Social Media: Global Perspectives. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-15028-2.
  2. ^ Young, Stella (3 July 2012). "We're not here for your inspiration - The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  3. ^ Young, Stella, I'm not your inspiration, thank you very much, retrieved 22 October 2020
  4. ^ Rakowitz, Rebecca. "Inspiration porn: A look at the objectification of the disabled community | The Crimson White". The Crimson White. University of Alabama. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Kate (17 July 2017). "On Inspiration Porn". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. ^ Henningham, Nikki (2014). "8. 'Part of the human condition': Women in the Australian disability rights movement". In Damousi, Joy; Rubenstein, Kim; Tomsic, Mary (eds.). Diversity in Leadership: Australian women, past and present. ANU Press. pp. 149–166. ISBN 9781925021707. JSTOR j.ctt13wwvj5.11.
  7. ^ "'Speechless' Just Schooled Everyone On Disability 'Inspiration Porn'". The Huffington Post. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.

Further readingEdit


Mainstream mediaEdit

External linksEdit