After she was mocked online for her appearance, a woman with a bone disorder started sharing selfies of herself daily for an entire year- and she claims it has had a positive influence on her
We all have our own battles to fight, but it is not always easy to confront the entire world. What’s more, sometimes, we might need to fight a battle more than once -- or even every day!
One Illinois woman decided to stand up for herself and all disabled people out there in a rather unique way.
After an online troll that called her “too ugly” to post photos of herself, Melissa Blake, 39, who was born with a genetic bone and muscular disorder, has started sharing selfies of her on a daily basis!
Blake, who is a writer, explained that she started feeling more comfortable in her body since she started tweeting daily snapshots of herself using the hashtag #MyBestSelfie:
“For the last year, I’ve followed the same routine every night before I go to sleep: I get out my phone, scroll through my photos, and post a selfie on social media. I suppose it’s become something of a ritual — one that has brought me comfort and happiness, not to mention taught me plenty of lessons.”
The brave woman was born with Freeman Sheldon syndrome, which is a rare congenital disorder characterized by joint deformities and abnormalities of the head and face and severely limits her mobility.
So far, she has undergone 26 operations.
- After an online troll that said she is “too ugly” to post photos of herself, Melissa Blake, has shared a selfie every day
- She was born with Freeman Sheldon syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by joint deformities and abnormalities of the head and face
She writes a blog called ‘So About What I Said”, and after she wrote an anti-Trump op-ed for CNN, one right-wing YouTuber shared her photo in a video, stimulating people to mock her looks.
She said that she has been used to being called names like “whale” or “blobfish, but one particular comment that she should be banned from posting photos of herself because she was “too ugly” hurt her deeply.
- Last year, after being mocked for her looks, she shared three selfies of her, and the post went viral
- People loved her reaction to the trolls
At this point, she decided to act for herself and all disabled people out there, subject to such harsh criticism. On September 7, 2019, she shared 3 selfies of herself, “to commemorate the occasion.”
This post went viral, and people started praising Blake for hitting back at the trolls. Over time, she has become a celebrity, with over 109K followers.
She claims that the selfies she shares daily range from serious to playful, but they ‘truly reflected’ her personality.
- In the next 365 days, she shared selfies every single day, using the hashtag #MyBestSelfie
She didn’t intend to do it daily for an entire year, but over time, she realized that it has positively affected her:
“With each selfie, I felt more comfortable in my own body and discovered freedom I’d never really felt before as a disabled woman. I grew up feeling different (and looking different) from people my age, which definitely had an impact on my self-esteem and self-image.
With each click of my iPhone, I felt like I was able to have a conversation with my younger self, telling her all the things I wish I had known back when I was a teenager.”
Yet, she also admits that it was not easy to share all these photos because she was too afraid of other people’s reactions.
- Blake, pictured as a child. She admitted that the practice positively affected her
- ‘With each selfie, I felt more comfortable in my own body and discovered freedom I’d never really felt before as a disabled woman”
- She fights hard, knowing that it is very important that the disabled are seen and heard
“Disabled people fall outside the lines of beauty standards and, of course, it doesn’t help that disability representation is sorely lacking in everything from pop culture to politics. We see very few disabled people in movies and TV shows or in leadership positions.”
She was also inspired by many other disabled people who have reached out to her.
Recently, she was tempted to avoid social media, after one of her photos was used in an insensitive ‘New Teacher Prank’ in which TikTok users showed their children pictures of her face to scare them.
Yet, she quickly regained her confidence, remembering that “disabled people have to fight to be seen and heard”.
Therefore, she has no intention to stop, as her selfies are for “every single disabled person who continues to fight every single day.”