INSTAGRAM – inspirational photo sharing?

No one has missed the global phenomenon of posting pictures on social media these days. But, as Stella Young discussed on TEDx 2014 in Sydney, photo sharing can be a lie of objecting disability as an inspiration. It’s something not many have thought of before, but Stella talked about this absurd idea that disabled people are an “inspiration to abled people only because they’re living a disabled life.” When you think about it, you’ll realise why it’s absurd. Media usually paints a picture of people with disabilities being heroic etc., not to mention all the “feel good” memes online of someone with a disability alongside a supposedly inspirational quote. As Stella mentions on TEDx, disabled people disagree with the picture media has painted. Someone without a disability doesn’t understand that having a disability does NOT make you a hero. Disabled people live their lives the way they always have! But that skewed idea has been spreading; Stella gave an example of someone coming up to her on the street (she happens to be in a power wheelchair) and praises her for getting up in the morning and basically remembering her own name… How degrading is that?! So next time someone shows you a meme involving disabilities and made-up quotes, enlighten them about the other side of the coin, and spread the word. Many see the “inspirational” objectifying of disabled people as a lie. Especially people who are being exposed to it.

#photo #sharing #gone #wrong



Bowler, G., M., Jr. (2010). The Qualitative Report. Netnography: A Method Specifically Designed to Study Cultures and Communities Online, vol. 15 issue 5, pp. 1270-1275. Retrieved from:

Safko, L. (2012). Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success (3rd Ed). A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words (Photo Sharing), pp. 187-206. Retrieved from:

Young, S (Presenter). (2014). TEDx-Sydney. Inspiration Porn and the Objectification of Disability: Stella Young. Retrieved from:

Miller, J., M. (2007). Afterimage – The Journal Journal of Media and Cultural Criticism. The Impersonal Album: Chronicling Life In the Digital Age, vol. 35 issue 2, pp. 9-12. Retrieved from:


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