The Internet BRB Gone Viral Pop Culture

15 #DisabledCompliments tweets you need to read right the eff now

People with disabilities have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #DisabledCompliments to share the insensitive, backhanded, and all around ableist “compliments” they’ve had to endure from others. 

The tag took off on Saturday when disability activist Imani Barbarin (@Imani_Barbarin) shared a thread of comments she’d been subjected to under the guise of compliments.

Since, others have joined in far and wide with one user dubbing the supposed praises as “super fucking obnoxious”.

Here’s what others had to say under #DisabledCompliments:

1. Disabled and attractive? Gasp!

Someone hit up all news outlets because clearly, this is breaking news.

2. Classic “foot in the mouth” situation

I’d really like to know the thought process behind forming such a dignified compliment. It baffles me.

3. Classic “foot in the mouth” situation, Part II

And with that attitude, methinks that person should refrain from openly voicing their opinions.

4. #RelationshipGoals

Makes you wonder what kind of bad SOs that person had the misfortune of being with.

5. Yes, you don’t think

Don’t you just love and appreciate when people tell you who you are or aren’t? I’m heart-eye emoji-ing rn.

6. Why education is v important


7. At least, right?

I don’t even have words.

8. Can you not?

That last one is just teetering on inspiration porn.

9. Umm, what?

Someone needs to look up the definition of lucky, and it isn’t Carla.

10. Stop it, I blush

That person is doing excellent at not showing their sensitivity – bravo!

11. Thanks indeed

We’ve all said it once, so I’m saying it again; mass education on world issues is so so so important.

12. Classic “foot in the mouth” situation, Part III

To think that Abbey has heard enough #DisabledCompliments for her to have favorites is appalling.

13. Not disabled disabled

Sorry, you must be this tall to earn the honor of calling yourself disabled.

14. Look on the bright side

Someone is summer vacation-ing wrong.

15. Just… no

Yet another person who needs to look up the definition of lucky.

The fact that #DisabledCompliments took off so quickly and is trending so widely makes it clear that the community in question is frustrated and tired AF of being on the receiving end of such ableist comments, and being ignored in wider conversations.

Ableism – discrimination that takes place in favor of able-bodied people – is so present in everyday speak that many fail to pick up on it. And look, it’s obvious that some people unintentionally, and perhaps out of a place of discomfort, voice such compliments in an effort to make the other person “feel better”. 

But that’s not needed, and tbh, it’s uncalled for. All you have to do is be mindful and open to learning about others’ experiences without feeling the need to “fix” a situation.

Check out our pieces on ableism and disability to learn more!

Makeup Fashion Beauty Lookbook

Beauty influencers with disabilities you need to follow right now

We live in a society that structures and designs most institutions – including fashion – around able-bodied people. This means that folks with bodies that look, act and feel different get left behind when it comes to the world of beauty.

Fashion and beauty are part of an individual expression. How we dress acts like an extension of ourselves; a way of introducing ourselves to the world. For people with disabilities, that range of expression is unfairly limited by a lack of options. There is also a problem with fashion and beauty companies only representing a beauty standard that erases disabled bodies.

[bctt tweet=”For people with disabilities, the range of expression via fashion is unfairly limited by a lack of clothing options. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

While the fashion and beauty industries are doing slightly better at the representation of disabled bodies, there is still a long way to go. On Instagram, though, many advocates of disability rights and representation thrive. Here are six influencers you absolutely need to follow.

1. Kaitlyn Dobrow

Kaitlyn is a beauty vlogger, Instagrammer and disability rights advocate. She had all four of her limbs amputated when she was 19, after being treated for bacterial meningitis. Her videos explore life as a disabled person. They are often funny, sweet and engaging. Her Instagram account documents her being the badass that she is.

Follow her on @kaitlyndobrow

2. Lucy Edwards

Lucy is a beauty blogger who is active on both Instagram and Youtube. Her blog posts often deal with navigating the world as a blind person. She is also a freelance reporter and an activist, who uses her social media platforms to raise awareness for disabled people including amazing makeup tutorials. Oh, and she recently partnered with COVERGIRL!

You can see her being awesome on @lucyedwardsofficial

3. Marimar Quiroa

Marimar is a Latina beauty blogger and Youtube, who is only 23 years old and cooler than most of us. She has cystic hygroma (a facial tumor) and her content is accessible by deaf and hard of hearing people as she uses both sign language and subtitles in her videos. She is a fierce advocate of self-love.

You can see her being beautiful every day on @makeupartistgorda66.

4. Cailey Darling

Cailey is a queen. She is a beauty and fashion blogger who describes herself as a “disabled babe” and that’s…pretty damn accurate. A plus size, blind model diagnosed with Acute Macular Neuroretinopathy, she posts about life in a disabled person’s body and advocates for empathy, understanding, and self-love. She never lets the trolls win.

You can see her being fierce on @caileydarling

5. Tae Mackenzie

Tae is a model, actress, and activist who has been on the runway for New York Fashion Week! She has a rare form of epilepsy that causes strokes and uses a wheelchair. Her posts are incredible and she advocates for love and respect for all bodies.

You can follow her @tae_mackenzie.

6. Lolo

Lolo advocates for more understanding and choices for people with disabilities as a vlogger and beauty influencer. Diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), she speaks about her experience with doctors and medical professionals in powerful and humorous ways.

Follow her on @itslololove

Fashion and beauty can be a powerful way for people to claim their agency over their bodies and drive home the point that all bodies are desirable and beautiful.

[bctt tweet=”Fashion and beauty can be a powerful way for people to claim their agency over their bodies and drive home the point that all bodies are desirable and beautiful.” username=”wearethetempest”]

These bloggers with disabilities are fierce and powerful and their popularity is an illustration of how representation is needed and wanted in the media we consume.

Humor Life

The ultimate 8 step program to act with the entitlement of a 70-year-old British man

You know that moment when you’re getting on the bus and it’s really full? A grumpy old white British man (BM for short) gets upset that you need the wheelchair-designated spot on the bus. You’re using your wheelchair and he is not using a wheelchair, but obviously, you know that the need-for-seat isn’t always visible.

So you do the emotional and communication labor of arranging another seat for him, as he scolds you for taking up space.

Good times.

I think about these kinds of situations a lot, and I’m working on unlearning hierarchical thinking when it comes to individual and collective needsI try to unlearn hierarchical thinking on the sidewalk, as I negotiate sharing and temporary territorialism with strangers. I think about whose needs usurp others’ in the swimming pool, as people plow past me, and I happily splash past slower people. I think about why we have a cultural script of scarcity when it comes to needs being met, maybe most often on the bus, as I articulate and re-articulate my need for the wheelchair-designated spot.

To combat these issues, I have thought, and I think I have almost solved all the spatial turmoil of femme crips everywhere…

But before I do, I’d like to propose an experiment: let’s all act with the entitlement of seventy-year-old British men.

As the badass crip thought leader, Imani Barbarin, of Crutches and Spice fame, put it: “I want disabled people to be unapologetically selfish. I want you to bathe in hedonism and to move with the bravado of a mediocre man explaining to a woman her own expertise.” It’s time we heed Imani’s call!

Let us emulate the BM. May all you crips who have ever been made to feel small, inconsequential, in the way, demanding, or lesser, to now assume the self-entitlement of a million seventy-year-old, British men. Baby boomers.

Those guys who came into the world believing that everything and every place existed for them, and grew up acting like it.

Step 1: Don’t get out of the way

amandla stenberg GIF
[Image Description: A gif of a black woman dropping the mic and looking at the camera.] Via giphy
Start by practicing the self-entitlement of one BM: the first day, don’t get out of the way of that businessman with his ‘too busy to notice other humans’ look, barreling toward you on the sidewalk.

Step 2: Exert confidence

step aside get out of my way GIF
[Image Description: A gif of a woman walking down the hallway and pushing two people out of her way.] Via giphy
Emit, like skunk spray, the expectation that people will move out of YOUR way. Once you’ve established yourself as someone deserving of half of the sidewalk in the neighborhood where you live, branch out; go somewhere busier.

Step 3: Get dirty

handicapped loop GIF
[Image Description: A gif of a boy spinning his wheelchair around.] Via giphy
Eject elbows or canes, puff out your shoulders, put pokers on your wheels, and make like twenty frat boys cruising the nearest university neighborhood.

This grandiose demeanor and extended width is the gateway to true BM style. Once you have it down, you will be on your way to truly know what it is to occupy space. But don’t stop there!

Step 4: Assert yourself in conversation

interruption dont interrupt me GIF
[Image Description: A gif of a man frowning at the camera and saying, “Don’t interrupt me, honey.”] Via giphy
Exhibit grand gestures in conversation: speak slowly and repeat yourself often, in case any brilliance is missed.

Step 5: Take up all the space you want

good vibes guitar GIF by Nilüfer Yanya
[Image Description: A gif of a girl floating on a flotation device in a pool and playing a fake guitar.] Via giphy
In the pool: go in the empty lane, take-up the width of the whole lane, and splash at people if they dare to join you.

Step 6: Act like the queen you are

sarah burke queen GIF
[Image Description: A gif of a woman with black hair who is looking at the camera and puts a crown on her head and smiles.] Via giphy
As you buy groceries or walk your dog: act with a regality that affords benevolence. Remind yourself you are a queen. You are a goddess.

Step 7: Make eye contact

watching you michael keaton GIF by Spider-Man: Homecoming
[Image Description: A gif of a man’s eyes in a car’s rearview mirror.] Via giphy
On the bus, make direct cat-like eye contact and watch as the crowd makes way for your royal wheels.

Step 8: Clear your throat

 movie sick jim carrey cough liar liar GIF
[Image Description: A gif of Jim Carrey clearing his throat and making a face.] Via giphy
Exhibit your prowess by clearing your throat when someone starts to ask you an inappropriate body question. Heheeemmm! Can’t heeeaar you!

Congratulations! You are beginning to express the very beginnings of a reasonable amount of public manifestations of self-confidence. Bask in it. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t want to become he whom I despise.” Don’t worry, you’re a far ways off from being selfish and unaware of your surroundings. What you have to say to your neighborhood and to the world is brilliant and worthy. You’re not at risk of becoming someone who takes from others what they actually need just for your own luxury.

If all us femme crips could get the confidence of just one seventy-year-old British man, we’d be on your way to taking up the space that we are due, as members of the places we inhabit. And maybe their entitlement would begin to look smaller. Remember crips, you deserve everything.

Bottom line, if this means cutting off a seventy-year-old British man on the sidewalk, or stealing his prime spot on the bus, then so be it.


The Tempest is committed to leading the accessibility movement in media

When we first began The Tempest in early 2016, our company ethos was crystal-clear: evolving global conversations using inclusivity and diversity through every facet of our work. It is an ethos that has allowed us to compete alongside older, more established media entities, a set of values that every person on the team espouses on a day-to-day basis.

Through the lens of inclusivity and diversity as core values, growth took off – and continues to do so – with the conversations, realizations, and messages our platform fosters daily reaching millions from more than ninety countries across the world. Between 2016 and 2017, our audience grew by 500%. Our audience is composed of engaged, enthusiastic individuals who are seeking out their place in the world – mostly women, mostly politically engaged, and tapped into a larger reality that stretches far beyond their zip code.

Quite simply, our audience reflected our team at Tempest HQ – people we’d love to grab a coffee (or chai!) with to discuss anything from technology to travel, beauty to cultural realities.

As a young media company, our team consistently makes an effort to step back and gauge how we’re doing – and what we can do better. To stay stagnant is to strip our mission of its effectiveness, and besides – experimentation and smart pivoting is part of how The Tempest thrives.

[bctt tweet=”Tempest HQ has decided to actively incorporate accessibility into every initiative.” username=”wearethetempest”]

With that in mind, we came to the realization that while we were practicing inclusivity for much of our audience, we were falling short for a significant demographic: people with disabilities. With more than 1.3 billion self-identifying people with disabilities in the world, we were doing a disservice to crucial members of the world by failing to fully optimize our offerings for their consumption, too.  

Rather than attempt to brush this realization under the table, Tempest HQ has decided to actively incorporate accessibility into every initiative and product offering. Our pivot is spearheaded by our Co-Founder and CTO, Mashal Waqar, who notes that, “As a company, we have a considerable amount of power in shifting norms and expectations. As such, we are prioritizing and employing techniques to make sure our content, in all formats, including audio and video, will now be fully accessible. Quite simply, we are here to prioritize accessibility because it is a human right.”

[bctt tweet=”With inclusivity and diversity as core values, growth took off and continues to do so.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Through this shift, we hope to see more corporations, media outlets, and organizations move in a fully inclusive, accessible direction that brings the entire world to the table. We are still a ways from a world in which everything is accessible, but things are changing.

The Tempest is committed to being at the forefront of the accessibility movement.