Nancy Mairs Disability Analysis

1030 Words 5 Pages
The Wrong Depiction of Disability In Nancy Mairs essay entitled “Disabilities”, she explains many of the complications that disabled people face because of the depiction that is shown of them in the media. Nancy Mairs is a disabled person herself, suffering from multiple sclerosis. In the essay, Nancy Mairs shows how disabled people are constantly excluded from the rest of society, especially from the media. Throughout the essay, Mairs uses personal experience to describe the daily struggles that disabled people feel because of the negative portrayal disable people are given in the media. Additionally Mairs aims to make changes regarding the relationship between the media and people with disabilities. Mairs emphasizes that the disabled are …show more content…
Upon interaction with someone with disabilities I already have this preconceived notion of how I expect them to be like because of the limited information based on what I have seen on the TV. This causes me to have an inadvertent bias towards disabled people because I have been brainwashed by the media’s depiction of the disabled. For instance I once met a disabled girl at my summer camp, and I was instantaneously at a loss of words on what to say to her. My constant feelings of sympathy towards the disabled are caused, because I feel like a disability is something that is a hindrance to one’s daily life. In this case I am viewing people with disabilities as abnormal because I would not have had any problem communicating with her if she did not have a disability. Disability registers to me as something that is a burden. This change is caused because of my separation of people with disabilities and people without disabilities into two separate categories. The media creates these categories through subtleties used in their television depictions of people with disabilities. If there were to be a more disabled people being portrayed in the media doing daily activities, people would not feel uncomfortable around people with disabilities because they would have some exposure to them in the media. Ultimately this would cause them to understand that a disability does …show more content…
“I’m not for instance Ms. MS, a walking, talking embodiment of chronic incurable degenerative disease. In most ways I’m just like every other woman of my age, nationality, and socioeconomic background.” (Mairs 14). To many multiple sclerosis is a defining factor of who Mairs is, her condition is what she feels many people identify her with rather than who she truly is. I agree that many people feel as if disabled people are not really human and normal, but a whole other breed of human. The false depiction is caused because if disabled people are not being depicted doing normal things, it makes one assume that they are not normal because their disability impedes them from being so. This results from the fact that, whenever people who are disabled are portrayed in the media their disability heavily defines who they are to others. Depicting people with disabilities performing daily activities would allow light to be shed more on who they are as an individual rather than what their disability

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