Woman Told She Is 'Too Ugly' To Share Her Picture Posts A Selfie Every Day For A Year
On 3rd October 2020
Melissa Blake is a woman with a rare genetic disorder and has been repeatedly reminded by people how 'ugly she is.' Now done with the bullies and trolls, Melissa decided to fight back with love, and every day for the next whole year she decided to post her selfies on social media. For Melissa posting pictures on social media is a fight that she is fighting for every person with a disability out there. She is proud of her journey and is loved by many people who look forward to her posts every day.
This woman was born with a rare genetic disorder and was trolled by people who told her that she is 'too ugly' to post her pictures on social media. But Melissa knew well enough to fight back and decided to teach her bullies a lesson for good- she nows posts a selfie every single day for a year.
Melissa Blake was born with Freeman Sheldon syndrome, a rare genetic bone and muscular disorder that the NHS says affects the appearance of the mouth, face, hands, and feet.
"In Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, the muscle fibres do not form properly so development is interrupted," the medical body explains.
Melissa, a writer, and activist from Illinois took to Twitter in September of last year to reveal that several trolls had told her that she "should be banned from posting photos" of herself because she is "too ugly".
Her response to these bullies? She posted three beautiful selfies in a row.
In an ed-op piece for Refinery29, Blake explained: "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."
In doing so, Melissa says the ritual has brought her "comfort and happiness", and also taught her "plenty of lessons".
The habit however Melissa says did not come from "from a place of comfort and happiness", as she explains, it came about purely to defy internet trolls.
"As a woman writer with a genetic bone and muscular disorder, who is also very active on the internet, I’m used to being called names like ‘blobfish’ and ‘whale,’ but there was one comment I just couldn’t shake.
"Someone said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly.
"The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to respond in some way. Not directly to the person, but as a general statement."
So for the next 365 days (2020 was a leap year), Melissa shared a selfie with the world, alongside the hashtag #MyBestSelfie.
In some of her captions with pictures, Melissa shared details about her disease and how it affected her day to day life. And all other times, she'd simply share a sweet message with her ever-growing fanbase.
"But there was one thing they all had in common," Melissa writes, "each selfie truly reflected my personality and who I was. Each was a celebration, and each carried a message."
Melissa was hesitant with how her pictures are perceived by the world but one thing was sure, she was determined to "be seen" as a disabled woman, and uploaded each one "unapologetically".
Melissa states that "so much of our culture is shaped and dictated by beauty standards", and that "our society makes it clear that disabilities are not considered beautiful or valuable."
As Melissa started posting more and more, she became more and more confident and started to feel "more comfortable in [her] own body and discovered freedom [she'd] never really felt before as a disabled woman."
Now many years down the lane, other disabled people started sharing their own stories with Melissa - many of whom saying how they "identified" with her words.
"I’ve often felt very alone as a disabled person and for the first time, I was seeing the disability community taking our rightful place at society’s table.
"Finally, I was seeing people like me - people who weren’t ashamed of who they are - and it was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever experienced."
Melissa says with time she has wondered if she should stop posting her pictures but whenever she feels like giving up she reminds herself "selfies are for every single disabled person who continues to fight every single day".
She says that a task as little as sharing selfies on social media can have a huge impact on the world.
A truly inspiring story!
To read Melissa's full article, click HERE.