Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss how important health representation is needed in fiction and I want to recommend you guys some stories that I have enjoyed with decent representation. Hope you enjoy!
Sometimes People Need to See Themselves in Fiction
When people read or watch something, its important sometimes to show a character that has something or lives with something that someone else does too and cannot talk about it with anyone in their world.
In addition, for especially children it can show that having physical or mental health representation is really cool or its not a burden to the other people in their life. Of course having the correct representation is also something that can be an issue also and can be harmful for these people also but sometimes it’s better than nothing.
The other aspect that falls under these lines is that when someone reads or watches media with representation can also help them understand that there are ranges of severity out there and a variety of symptoms out there that allows people to be unique theres no stereotypes. When they are stereotyping though, they’re helpful for education (which I’ll discuss more in the next section) but they can also be harmful. So keep that in mind for when you consume these kind of media.
People Use it to Educate Themselves
Another aspect is education. People can use the consumption of media to educate themselves. There are some people out there that see or even live with people in their life that have a disability that have no idea what is involved. The other aspect is to expand the knowledge that they are already have in severity level, different symptoms, and other aspects of the disorder. Media can show that not everyone is the same in their disorder and that everyone reacts to disorders differently.
Because They are a Part of our Reality
And Finally, whether we like it or not, people with a mental and/or physical disorder are a part of our reality. I am truly surprised that media does not include them more often. During the early 2000s, more physical disabilities were represented in television but nowadays, it ebbs and flows when it comes to physical as well as mental disabilities. However, since the beginning of human existence, there are people like this that exist everywhere and anywhere. Sometimes they are hidden away or sent away other times they are embraced and taken care of in the best way. The sad part is, media is very torn on the subject. Plus there isn’t a law that dictates media needs to equalize other people. To me though, it should be embraced more often and I appreciate that nowadays it is growing to be more prevalent in books, movies, and television which some I am going to recommend now in the next section.
Now that I am off my soapbox (sorry about that 😥) but thankfully we live in a time where equal representation is something a lot of people are looking for in media and I want to recommend some fiction to you guys that people have recommended to me that I love. These are manga, novels, anime/tv and a movie or two. There are also quite a few of disorders represented that I hope you either look further into or try to find more media with this representation. Ok onto the media!
Finding Me by Kelly Gunderman
Reading and Reviewing this book I’ll be honest was the catalyst to this blog post. First off, The cover shows exactly what this story is about in the instance that it involves someone in a wheelchair who is embracing that she is even alive and falling in love for the first time. There is also other factors at play of course but overall a fantastic story.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
This is a book that also comes to mind whenever I think of fantastic mental disability representation in particular with bipolar disorder and how to tell others what bipolar disorder is and the implications that is represented. There can be ways where aspects of the story could have gotten construed and uncomfortable for anyone in the story as well as the reader and it was not in my personal opinion. Check out this story if you haven’t already.
Sue Thomas F.B.Eye
This show was a show I watched in high school in my American Sign Language class. I wish it was on a streaming service or if not a more common place to get home videos because I miss it every once in awhile. This has a main character who is deaf and helps to solve crimes.
This show could have gone one of two ways for me personally; it could have made the main character who has Autism Spectrum Disorder too stereotypical in the symptoms and the way they navigate the world, and they could have made him the butt of everyone’s jokes along with his family. Thankfully though, that did not happen although there are some jokes that are sprinkled in that some people might find offensive but otherwise I love this series and how the characters deepen throughout the series. It is one that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their lives may enjoy as well as ones that have no idea what it’s like will enjoy.
Anime and Manga
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas The Movie and the Manga/Light Novel
This has some pancreatic cancer representation in it. However, it is not as prevalent as in other stories and occurs in the last half of the story. Because of this, I am not going to say anything more than that but it hits at the heartstrings and made me cry along with friendship lessons. There is a minor joke in here that may be triggering so please keep that in mind when you read/watch.
A Silent Voice The Movie and Manga Series
This series is one with Japanese Deaf representation but in a negative sense. This has bullying both verbally and physically and suicidal thoughts. I know these triggers may make it seem like its awful… but its eye-opening and profound all at the same time.
I Hear The Sunspot Drama/Manga
Last recommendation was my first manga that had male male representation. This is a more adult perspective on how being hard of hearing can affect the college everyday life. With an added romance of course ;). Check this out if you haven’t already.
Overall, as you can see I am passionate in this subject and hope that this was helpful. Check out any of the media I recommended and if you have any other recommendations post them in the comments!!