I don't know Scott Hamilton personally, but that guy is really starting to burn my crumpets. He's the one who said "The only disability in life is a bad attitude." You know, that quote that's plastered all over pictures of disabled people doing completely normal things and shared far and wide on social media.
Yes, you can take a moment here to ponder the use of the word "invalid" in a disability context. Then there's the one with the little girl with no hands drawing a picture holding the pencil in her mouth with the caption, "Before you quit.
Try."I'd go on, but I might expunge the contents of my stomach.
Let me be clear about the intent of this inspiration porn; it's there so that non-disabled people can put their worries into perspective.
So they can go, "Oh well if that kid who doesn't have any legs can smile while he's having an awesome time, I should never, EVER feel bad about my life".
It's there so that non-disabled people can look at us and think "well, it could be worse... In this way, these modified images exceptionalise and objectify those of us they claim to represent.
It's no coincidence that these genuinely adorable disabled kids in these images are never named: it doesn't matter what their names are, they're just there as objects of inspiration.
But using these images as feel-good tools, as "inspiration", is based on an assumption that the people in them have terrible lives, and that it takes some extra kind of pluck or courage to live them. When I was 15, a member of my local community approached my parents and told them she wanted to nominate me for some kind of community achievement award.
My parents said, "Thanks, but there's one glaring problem with that...
she hasn't actually achieved anything out of the ordinary."They were right.
I went to school, I got good marks, I had a very low key after-school job, and I spent a lot of time watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson's Creek.
I wasn't feeding orphaned Chlamydia-infected baby koalas before school, or setting up a soup kitchen in the main street, or reading newspapers to the elderly at the local hospital.