Disability in Media: Nancy Mairs' Critique of Biased Representation

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 636 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 636|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

American media is an important part of everyone’s daily lives. In Nancy Mair’s “Disability”, she takes up a serious tone on explaining about people with disabilities. She is dissatisfied with the way the media portray disabled people. She uses herself as an example and explains what it is like to disabled. In the passage, she narrates on some of her personal experiences, adding direct remarks and personal ideas to it. She goes on explaining how they are being treated poorly because they are disabled. It is very important that all groups of people, even the minority, should equally be represented in American media because of equality, rights, and many other reasons.

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Everyone has their own rights and equality in the United States. As Nancy Mair’s mentioned the story about some woman with multiple sclerosis, who wanted to plan a trip to Kenya but was not able to. She also mentions that “one of those medical dramas that offer an illness-of-the-week like daily special at your local diner”. (Mairs) She is very disappointed with the media for representing a sensitive topic in a funny manner. She then mentions that when some television shows actually do portray someone with multiple sclerosis, it’s focused almost entirely on the disability. When it should focus on the person’s character and the experiences they could have in spite of their illness. The media should represent someone’s experiences that has a disease, but still lives like a normal human being.

Mairs also uses ethos to connect to her audience and show how media should represent everyone equally. She also writes as if she is talking directly to the reader, “So when I tell you I haven’t noticed any woman like me on television, you can believe me”. (Mairs) However, it is assumed that she is writing for someone that would actually understand her. She uses her personal experiences to portray that this topic is very sensible and not funny. She wants the media to show the world that even the people with disable can do things as normal people do. The media should show that even kids with disable still can perform at the same level as normal kids.

Size and age does not matter when it comes to experiences. Everyone has different kind of experiences. Even though their lives are different, everyone still act, talk, walk, and etc the same way as another person. Nancy Maris mentions “To depict disabled people in the ordinary activities of daily life is to admit that there is something ordinary about disability itself, that it may enter anybody’s life.” (Maris) It’s not the disease that is an issue, it’s the people. People in this world tend to thing others are different because of an illness, they are suffering from. The media has a big role to play in this issues, because media overdoes a topic way too much, that people start believing in it. It never tells the exact truth about what is right and what is not.

If the media starts brining out the truth about all ages of experiences and their disability, then people can start adapting it in their ordinary lives. Maris says “Achieving this integration, for disabled and able-bodies people alike, requires that we insert disability daily into our field of vision: quietly, naturally in the small and common scenes of our ordinary lives.” (Maris) If the world start seeing the disabled people as normal human being than the world would be a better place.

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Overall, the media plays a huge on everyone’s minds. The media should equally represent everyone in their television shows. It should show everyone’s experiences, whether it is 45-year-old lady with multiple sclerosis or a kid with cancer. They should have a equally represented experiences in the media world.

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Prof. Linda Burke

Cite this Essay

Disability in Media: Nancy Mairs’ Critique of Biased Representation. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Disability in Media: Nancy Mairs’ Critique of Biased Representation.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Disability in Media: Nancy Mairs’ Critique of Biased Representation. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Disability in Media: Nancy Mairs’ Critique of Biased Representation [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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