Weighted Blankets at Target: Is it Cultural Appropriation???

I recently came across an argument – people getting weighted blankets to help them with sleep was a form of cultural appropriation. I was wondering: is this true?

I’ve never really considered this argument. But you can make a case for both sides.

First, that weighted blankets at Target is disability cultural appropriation. I can see the argument simply because disability aids and fidget toys, such as fidget spinners, became a fad. (Remember those? I still have mine.) They only became popular when abled people took them up. You could make the case for weighted blankets undergoing the same abled person pickup. It literally took the abled people taking up weighted blanket for them to even show up at Target – and they still do not come in queen size for my bed! What a shame that it takes the abled people to pick something up to become available for people who cannot make the something. That’s the textbook definition of ableism.

The argument against abled people taking up weighted blankets as cultural appropriation is another side. Basically, that something once used for autism, anxiety, and other disabling conditions is now used by abled people might just be natural because abled people see the aid can help them, too.

I see nothing beyond the above for these arguments, but I am disturbed by that fact that disabled people are not allowed to take control of their narrative the way other marginalized cultures do. We still need to pitch our disability aids to abled people to be able to even get them. Fidget spinners, fidget toys and weighted blankets are prime examples of this. Most abled people cannot see past the ends of their noses when it comes to us.

The sad thing is, my mother does not even know about the weighted blanket, so I do not have one.


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Autistic woman in her 40s, bringing attention to issues that affect her and her kind.

3 thoughts on “Weighted Blankets at Target: Is it Cultural Appropriation???”

  1. That is interesting. I immediately wonder if those in the generations that remain undiagnosed as well as those who’ve some but not enough traits to gain a diagnosis would give merit to such things as truly pertaining authentically to at least part of the “non-disabled” world and it not being entirely a matter of pop trends.

    One of my more ridiculous ideas of late was pondering what would happen if I practiced asking normal people if the lights bothered them and offered to change the lighting for them. Similarly, what if I started handing them things to fidget with when I spoke to them? I’d be sort of a ‘projected awareness’ planted by subliminal seeds. In a sense, it would be normalizing such things to a degree. Though, it seems an Autistic world would be an improvement over what we currently have. But at the same time it might help in explaining things to those people who learn via a nonverbal language. Since I’m not entirely sure how nonverbal language commences, I’m assuming subliminal tactics might work in its stead.

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