Melissa Blake, a freelance journalist and disability blogger from Illinois

Disabled Woman Is Told She’s “Too Ugly” To Post Pictures, Fights Back With Selfies

After being told she was “too ugly”,Melissa Blake, a woman born with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, decided to protest against online trolls and bullies by posting her selfies on Twitter.

Some people spend their entire life judged and underestimated due to their looks. Unfortunately, opposite of their primary goal, which is to connect us, social media have become a place where many are being criticized and bullied.

A lot of people feel free to type and say their wicked thoughts online, harass and embarrass others, and display their “power” by shaming others for their mistakes and their misfortune.

Last year, Melissa Blake, a freelance journalist and disability blogger from Illinois, went viral for being brave enough to fight against online trolls and bullies.

The thought-provoking article about Donald Trump this journalist wrote was featured in a YouTube video, but many netizens were not interested in its content -- and focused on Melissa’s appearance instead.

Many of them were incredibly cruel and dropped harsh and heart-breaking comments all over her page.

This woman was born with the Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a rare congenital bone, and muscle disorder that restricts movement in the hands and feet, and leads to abnormalities of the head and face.

However, she has always held her head high in life and managed to ignore other people’s stares and comments.

Yet, this time, she has had enough. She explained that people were talking about her appearance “in really derogatory, nasty ways”, calling her “‘ugly’ and saying ‘she looks like a parade balloon.”

After reading a comment that suggested that she should be banned to post her pictures, she was incredibly hurt, but decided to do the opposite- and posted three of her selfies on Twitter.

She was expecting more negative comments to follow, but was actually positively surprised soon!

While there were still some negative comments, she didn’t even notice them, as thousands of other people started encouraging and supporting her!

In only a few days, she went viral!

So far, her post has garnered more than 314,6 likes, 9.8K comments, and has been retweeted over 36,8K times! Her victory against the trolls was a victory for everyone ever judged for their looks!

She said that this is something  a lot of women face, “they are subject to visual attacks.”

Yet, she explains that she got used to not being taken seriously or given the same opportunity as others, but it has taught her to raise her voice and develop a thick skin.

She added:

“I’d be lying if I said they didn’t bother me and it’s hard not to get down on yourself. These people are just sitting at home hiding behind their keyboards. I don’t think they would say half of what they say on the internet to someone’s face.” 

She started the #MyBestSelfie challenge on Twitter, encouraging her followers to share their selfies and write gentle, kind words to themselves.

This woman is a true warrior. She has undergone 26 correctional surgeries to fix the contractures in her hands and knees and the scoliosis causing her spine to twist.

Melissa struggles to show the rest of the world that a disability is a state of existence and not a punishment, adding that “what we consider beautiful is so narrow.”

All disabled people want is inclusion, respect, and the dignity they deserve.

She continues her fight via her inspiring articles that aim to change the narrative about disabilities with her inspiring articles.

“I feel the support of so many people around the world that I never even met. It’s been overwhelming in the best way possible. The negativity often overshadows a lot of the good people, but it’s nice to see the other side of it for once.”

When it comes to trolls and cyberbullies, Melissa says:

“I hope my selfies help them see there is a human on the other side of the computer they’re insulting. I think it just goes back to treating people how you want to be treated. I know that sounds so simple and cliché, but I think it’s true.”

Let’s all remember to be kind everywhere we go.

Be kind to everyone, including yourself.

To all of you out there being belittled or shamed for your appearance, remember, you are beautiful, and unique, among more than 7 billion people on this planet.

You are truly worthy, and your value does not decrease just because someone is not able to recognize it.