Is ‘Inspirational’ always a compliment?

I was shown this image the other day… it feels so spot-on.

Please have a read of the Instagram poster’s words that accompany the image to gain some insight into why being called inspirational or strong or brave can sometimes achieve the opposite of what most people are hoping to achieve when saying these words…

It’s also worth browsing through the other images on this Instagram account!

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Today is something like #internationaldisabilityday #internationaldayofdisability #internationaldayofdisabledpersons #internationaldayofdisabledpeople I wanted to mark the day by acknowledging an alienating compliment that I get pretty much every week. I also want to acknowledge that some of my disabled friends do enjoy being called strong/brave/inspirational and that’s absolutely not a problem with me, we all deserve to define our own boundaries. I guess I struggle with it because all I’d rather be complimented for something that I want to be good at, rather than something I have no choice about that I just do to survive. [simple illustration of person lying in bed with sign in their head that reads “it has been __ days since an abled called me inspirational”] I used the word “abled” because it’s shorthand for ‘able bodied’, which refers to people without disability. I won’t ever be hurt or annoyed if I’m called this but it is dehumanising and it misses the nuance of my experience and the experiences of many other disabled people. I also wanted to add that I’ve drawn the person in the bed because that’s pretty much what my disability looks like most of the time, it’s my normal. I didn’t want to use an image of disability that I didn’t personally experience. #inspirationporn #disabledpeople #disabilitymatters #invisibledisability #sickbed #pleasedontcallmeinspirational #disablednotunable #includedisabledvoices

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