Politicizing Disabled Bodies

Hello my lovely folx, how are you all doing today? I know it has been long time, no see here on the blog – but that’s a topic for another time entirely. As today, I bring frustrating and angering news relating to my IG account, and the action taken by the platform to censor yet another disabled creator, under the guise of TOS violations, and this time it was me who was on the receiving end of ableist policy wielded by corporations to erase the voices of specific minority groups, in this particular instance, the disabled community.

It’s certainly understandable why it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle as part of a very vocal sect of the community who discuss topics such as disabled sexuality, intimate health as a disabled person, societal and institutionalised ableism – because months of hard work can be erased if a faceless moderator dictates that your content of activism, promoting disabled body positivity, unapologetic self acceptance, mental health awareness, and sharing your personal growth and development throughout life’s challenges, is inappropriate and unsuited to their platform. Of course this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth the effort to produce and share this content within such a supportive community, in the hopes of extending to those outside said community; but it feels like if it’s happened once, it will continue to happen under the watch of an ableist eye.

The platform withhold the right to share which particular term you violate, and what you can do differently to avoid this action having to be taken again, but what I certainly suspect, is that considering this has happened to many other disabled content creators over the past year, the term they dislike so much, is expressing liberation as a disabled individual.

You may be wondering why I, and many other within the community, feel that disabled folx are being censored more than able bodied people, in particular those within other marginalised groups. All you need do witness a larger percentage of disabled individuals who wear more revealing clothing (we’ll get to that later), are hit with takedowns and deactivation than those creating similar content with a lesser chance of experiencing the same actions. Does this mean we should all be issued with these enforcements based in misogyny and body politics? No – self acceptance and liberation is not inherently harmful, but if policy is supposed to be applied it should be done fairly, as they are then making their decision based on an individual’s protected characteristics.

Instagram have made it very apparent that they disapprove of women, non-binary folx, and trans men who haven’t received top surgery, showing any illusion of nipple tissue, unless you are breast feeding in said depiction. Ie, it’s only acceptable for non-cis men to embrace their bodies if they serve a functional purpose. Even though I have censored any slight show of nipples in the bodysuits or bralettes that I have been pictured in, they have been removed for breaking community guidelines, which couldn’t have been due to any other reason as the caption was heavily censored to prevent the algorithm from picking up on the topic of discussion.

So what were the topics I discussed so openly?

Sexual health as a disabled individual – the importance of seeking liberation within yourself by confronting internalised ableism; prioritising pleasure and enjoyment.

Mental health awareness – resources and advocacy with a particular emphasis during the pandemic.

Unapologetic self acceptance and body positivity in a disabled form – learning to love whichever figure our body takes in a sexist and ableist world.

Quite frankly I don’t know when, or if, my account will be recovered, hopefully I will hear back within the next few days. However, I feel compelled to continue sharing these resources, even if it isn’t solely on Instagram.

However I’m going to be creating a patreon, in the hopes I can still share these resources along with my Instagram platform shall it be returned to me. Nevertheless, I will still be here on my blog, and hopefully back to doing what I love in the coming week but of course, as always, I’ll keep you updated.

The best ways to keep up with my content is to follow this blog, and sign up to be notified whenever a blog post is published.

With love,

Lori x

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