Chronic illness · Inspiring

Why As A Person With Chronic Illness I Don’t Like The Term “Inspiration Porn”


I was recently made aware of the term “inspiration porn” through social media. The phrase immediately had me uncomfortably shaking my head. I learned that “inspiration porn” was coined by some in the disability community in reference to being called inspirational, either due solely or in part, to their disability. While I understand that being judged based on something completely out of one’s control can be pretty offensive, I personally think the term “inspiration porn” in itself can offend. In my opinion, the words “inspiration” and “porn” are not meant to go together. When I think of “inspiration” I think of positivity and breathing life and energy into ideas, actions, and people. To me, it is an important, almost revered word; a word that is a big part of my life. “Porn”, on the other hand, is short for pornography, which refers to sexually explicit materials. The two words have almost nothing to do with one another. The combination just feels wrong.

As someone who tries extremely hard to stay inspired and spread positivity despite dealing with several different chronic illnesses, I can honestly say that I really don’t like the term “inspiration porn.” It makes me feel like if I am honored or grateful because someone says they are inspired by the strength or perseverance I show in the face of my health struggles, that I am doing something wrong. It makes me feel like if I write with the goal of inspiring others with chronic illness and helping them to feel less alone, that my intentions are somehow dishonorable. I think the disability community should be about inclusion and support and the term “inspiration porn” does not do anything to further that mission.

Words are powerful. They have the power to uplift, to comfort, and to inspire and that is what I believe they should do. While I think it was the intention of those who came up with the term “inspiration porn” to spread awareness about what life is really like with a disability and express feelings of frustration, I don’t think they meant to leave others like me feeling uncomfortable or disenfranchised. My goal here is to let them know that everyone in a certain community may not necessarily think alike. We all have different views and opinions. Our experiences and struggles are not the same. Something that offends one person, may not offend everyone. And that is okay.

 

Respectfully,

Lindsay B.

 

 

 

One thought on “Why As A Person With Chronic Illness I Don’t Like The Term “Inspiration Porn”

  1. Everything with “porn” at the end have my cringing… but it seems it’s a trend nowadays… I’m glad I first heard this thing from you, and not at random from somewhere, it’d have gotten me furious.

    Like

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