An American woman who was told online to stop posting pictures of herself because she’s “too ugly” has slammed back masterfully. Melissa Blake served the trolls without hesitation and was immediately overloaded with statements of support. Her number of followers on Twitter tripled in just two days, to more than 43,000.
The woman from the American state of Illinois suffers from Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a congenital disorder that affects face and limbs. Typical are the small mouths – which can make breathing, swallowing and speaking awkward – the corners of the eye pointing down and the fingers and toes contracted. The disorder usually does not influence intelligence.
Melissa – a blogger and freelance journalist who has already worked for CNN and Cosmopolitan – is commented on social media regularly on how she looks, but that had no comparison with what she got when she wrote an opinion piece about President Trump earlier this month, in which she criticized him. The result was a massive amount of online dredging, and it didn’t focus on what she had written, but on her appearance.
She was called “thick”, “ugly” and “a potato head”. “This is a perfect example of a land whale,” it sounded. And also: “Is that photo real?”
Melissa did not let it pass but served her criticasters a reply. “During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly,” she tweeted. “So I’d just like to commemorate the occasion with these 3 selfies.” In which she posted three photos of herself.
Her post went viral in no time. Two days later, almost a quarter of a million people already liked it and nearly 20,000 Twitterers shared the post. Her number of followers went from 7,500 to 43,000. “Thanks, friends,” she said. “I am speechless, and that is something that does not happen often.”
The woman was also overwhelmed by the statements of support and the messages from Twitterers who wanted to comfort her. “Your smile is like the sun on a rainy day, darling,” it sounded. But also: “I am sorry that people are so mean to you. They are the ugly ones.” And “Every troll and bully is ugly. You are beautiful. Don’t listen to them.”
It turned out to be a heart, and therefore it does not look like the trolls will get Melissa under it. Shortly after the insults started to come, she already showed that she would never let herself be done. “Yes, due to my disability, I look different. Trust me; I know that. I’ve known that all my life. Tonight I will go to bed a bit frustrated because this is now our reality. But tomorrow I will get up again, and I will continue the fight for change. Because this cannot be our future, please let us be better than this.”