Bullying is, I believe, one of the most heinous features of modern civilization.
Prejudice against someone based on something as insignificant as looks is genuinely reprehensible conduct, but social media has regrettably provided a forum for individuals to be unpleasant to one another while benefiting from relative anonymity.
Melissa Blake is all too aware of this. She was a writer who was told she was “too ugly” to upload images of herself by internet bullies.
Melissa was obviously offended by the comments, which occurred after she penned an essay for CNN in 2019.
When the post was published, a YouTuber uploaded a photo of her, prompting hundreds of people to criticize her looks. Melissa, who has Freeman Sheldon syndrome, was dubbed a “blob fish” and a “whale,” among other things.
Rather than allow the vile trolls to intimidate her into sadness, she chose to take a stance in a totally unique way.
Reminder that this is what it’s like to be a disabled woman writer on the internet AND #ThisIsAmerica in 2019: A conservative YouTuber mentioned my recent op-ed about #UnfollowTrump. The comments? I’m fat, ugly and look like a blob fish, a parade balloon and a potato with a face. pic.twitter.com/ROczIXKNom— Melissa Blake (@melissablake) August 8, 2019
“During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly,” Melissa said on Twitter. So I’d just want to mark the occasion with these three selfies…”
That particular tweet received a lot of attention online, with many rallying to Melissa’s defense. But the author didn’t stop there. Melissa went on to share a photo every day for a year after being told she was so unattractive she should be “banned” for taking selfies.
During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly. So I’d just like to commemorate the occasion with these 3 selfies… 📸😉👋🏻 pic.twitter.com/9ZuSYFOtwv— Melissa Blake (@melissablake) September 7, 2019
As a consequence, her Instagram following has grown from 7,500 to 100,000. Melissa, 39, addressed themes such as impairments in addition to the photographs she uploaded each day. According to Refinery29, she stated:
“They all had one thing in common: each selfie accurately reflected my personality and who I was.” Each one was a celebration with a message.”
She went on to say:
“It’s a way for me to reclaim my power and paint a more accurate picture of disability.” Because the one we now have? It’s more 1950 than 2020, with many myths that portray handicapped people as burdens on society. On the contrary, we live complete lives, and I’m very delighted to have been able to demonstrate that for an entire year.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m so proud of Melissa and the guts she’s showed in standing up to the disgusting trolls who tried to bring her down for a cheap chuckle.
Melissa, I’m not sure whether you’ll ever read this, but if you do, please accept my gratitude. Thank you for motivating people to disregard bullies who have nothing else to do except put others down. Thank you for demonstrating that beauty is only skin deep. Thank you for being who you are!
If you are proud of Melissa and wish for a world free of bullying, please share this story.