Stereotypes Of Disabilities In The Media

689 words - 3 pages

Stereotypes of disability that began in television, movies, and photographs have become normal due to the over exposure to the general public. Once a stereotype is accepted, it is repeated in movies and tv, although sometimes slightly different, but it always stays close to the original stereotype. This type of stereotyping is called “tropes”, meaning “a recurring image or representation in the mainstream culture that is widely recognizable.”
Some examples of tropes are: "Little People are Surreal" where the use of a dwarf actor or character is recurring in movies and television shows. An example would be the constant use of Wee Man in the Jackass series who does unbelievable things to strangers and gets away with it because of the shock he had just instilled in the individual. "Disability Superpower" is when for some reason a person loses one ability, and another enhances exponentially. An example that is different from all my other ones but is significant enough to use is Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. They are both blind musicians but can play the piano like no one’s business, and "Single Episode Disability" which is when a main character in an episode of a tv show becomes handicapped in some form and then recovers fully and quickly, like in an episode of Elementary, a cop gets shot and becomes temporarily handicapped, and after three episodes he recovers and continues his work.
Other types of stereotypes are: The object of pity, which is someone suffering from an illness or disease like the children in the commercials for starving children in less fortunate countries, Sinister or evil which is someone with a deformity, such as pirates much like Captain Hook and almost every pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean with peg legs and scars on their faces. Eternal innocence, which is someone with an intellectual disability, like Rainman and Forrest Gump. And last, the victims of violence, who are people who escape from a violent caregiver like The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Stereotypes occur in society for many reasons. One being that they are continuously reinforced in the...

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