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Halloween is quickly approaching us and if you are celebrating and want to dress up, you may be thinking about a costume. If you are stumped on what to be for Halloween, it may have crossed your mind to sit in a wheelchair and pretend to be disabled because that be the world’s easiest costume. Is that really a good idea? No and that is probably the world’s worst costume because a lot of disabled people would see that as offensive and it would create more stigma and as a society, we try to break stigma’s rather than create more and contribute to the problem, but I wouldn’t even do that with a disability. Most people that dress up as a disabled person for Halloween are not trying to harm the disabled community and do it with good intentions, but unfortunately actual disabled people will not see that way and will think that you are ableist or making fun of medical conditions even if that was not your intent. Why shouldn’t you dress up as a disabled person for Halloween?
It promotes the idea that disability is scary- Disability can happen to anyone because a vast majority of disabilities are not birth defects and were acquired through accident age or illness. People already fear disability and think that it’s the worst thing that can ever happen to them so when you dress up as a disabled person for Halloween it promotes the idea that it is scary to be disabled and we should all run from it. I will not argue that is hard to be disabled in an inaccessible world designed for abled people, but we shouldn’t be promoting the idea that you should fear disability but instead help people understand it. As a society we should be helping people become less fearful of becoming disabled but when you dress up as a disabled person for Halloween you are not doing quite the opposite and contributing to the problem. People need to know that disability makes you different but that that is okay, and you don’t have to fear becoming disabled because it doesn’t ruin your life.
Disability is not a costume– Most people that dress up as a disabled person for Halloween are not going to be disabled or have anyone in their life to tell them that pretending to be disabled is an offensive costume. Disability is not a costume, and you can’t undo your disability or take it off when you are frustrated with the challenges of life, and you are disabled all the time. Disabled people sometimes can get offended when you pretend to be disabled for Halloween because it promotes the idea that you are only disabled when you want to be. Some people already think that you can shut your disability off when you want to which is a problem because disabled people face a lot of discrimination, and some people think that we can mediate our disabilities away. We should be helping people understand that disability is permanent and that you can’t just take your disability on and off when it’s convenient but are disabled 24/7 even when you really don’t want to be.
Some people may think you are making fun of medical conditions- Disabilities need more awareness because a lot of disabilities and chronic illnesses are misunderstood even by doctors and need more research to improve the lives of disabled people. When you dress up as a disabled person for Halloween you are not spreading awareness because you could wrongly represent a disability and some people may see it as making fun of medical conditions. People should try to understand medical condition because a lot of disabilities are embarrassing to live with and the last thing a disabled person needs is to feel like their disability is being made fun of. It creates more stigma and that is the last thing we need because some disabled people already feel like no one understands them or cares. As disabled person I wouldn’t even dress up as a disabled person because although I may have good intentions and some people would know that I am not making fun of any medical conditions, people that don’t know me may not know that and think I lack understanding and am mocking medical conditions.
There are a lot of good costumes you could choose for Halloween that wouldn’t not be harmful toward the disabled community but pretending to be disabled is not one of them. I wouldn’t even recommend actual disabled people pretending to be disabled on Halloween because it promotes that idea that you can be disabled when you want to, and that disability is scary. Most people that dress up as a disabled person do it with good intentions and mean no harm by it but it’s going to come off that way and some people will even get offended by your costume. There is nothing wrong with using your wheelchair to create some kind of costume but don’t tell people that your costume is that you are disabled. It creates more stigma and there is already enough disability stigma, and as a society we should thrive to create less stigma rather than create more! Don’t be that person who pretends to be disabled because you are too lazy to come up with a real costume! What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
I read all comments because I love hearing your thoughts but please be kind, keep all comments relevant to the post you are commenting on and your language clean. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but you should be respectful of everyone’s different points of view because rude comments toward me or any other commenters will not be tolerated. If you see that someone is struggling, it’s okay to offer support but please do not give out any kind of medical advice in the comment section of my blog even if you are a doctor because I am not qualified to diagnose anyone and can be held liable if it’s bad advice. The comment section of my blog is not for promoting yourself and any links that are dropped without my permission will immediately be edited out. If you violate my policy, your comment will be edited or completely removed from my site.
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