The Effects of Disability and Gender in Rhetoric

“Inspiration Porn Further Disables the Disabled” by David M. Perry is an opinion piece about the objectification of people among the disabled community. He uses three stories that are considered inspiration porn, a concept used to describe stories that use disabled people to reflect the ways in which able-bodied people think of themselves. One of these stories that are meant to inspire others to “do good” involve Madeline Stuart, a girl with Down syndrome who reached her goal of becoming a model. Perry focuses on the ideas that “disabled humans get treated as props” in these stories, that there is an overall lack of accessibility for them in society, and that the ways in which they are portrayed create stigma and disqualifies them from overcoming the basic obstacles of life or taking roles in society that others can obtain. He also mentions a thought-provoking idea that Madeline Stuart’s before and after pictures “are being used in the worst possible way to promote fat shaming of her peers” that could lead to harm her peers. Part of her goal, however, was to lose weight. It is, in fact, what she wanted. Her intentions were not to make her peers feel bad. Her before and after photos are being used as equally as anyone’s before and after photos as a result of hard work and discipline. Therefore, her voice is heard. Most of the stronger points lie at the beginning of the article but dwindles as it progresses. Perry begins with a logical explanation for why disabled people are unable to progress; that is, there is a cultural and social stigma rooted...
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