Disabled woman post selfies after being told she’s “too ugly”

Blogger Melissa Blake wrote a post about Donald Trump and it immediately went viral – for one terrible reason.

You see, people weren’t sharing or commenting on Melissa’s post because it was well-written, thought-provoking, or even controversial. They were commenting on the photo that accompanied Melissa’s article – a selfie. The article was mentioned on a conservative YouTube channel and trolls came out of the woodwork.

Source: Twitter/MelissaBlake

“The comments had nothing to do with the content of my work, they were just insulting my looks,” Melissa told “Good Morning America.”

Melissa took screenshots of the terrible comments and shared them on Twitter along with the caption: “Reminder that this is what it’s like to be a disabled woman writer on the internet AND #ThisIsAmerica in 2019.”

Source: Twitter/MelissaBlake

Melissa, 38, suffers from a genetic muscle and bone disorder called Freeman-Sheldon syndrome – a rare condition affecting the face, mouth, hands, and feet.

The comments being left on her post became increasingly cruel and they just didn’t seem to stop. Melissa says she’s used to people staring at her and making little comments, normally just letting them roll off her back. However, this time, the words were particularly hurtful.

Source: Twitter/MelissaBlake

“There were comments from people calling me ‘ugly’ and saying ‘she looks like a parade balloon,’” Melissa told Newsbeat.

The final comment that really bothered Melissa was when someone suggested she stop posting selfies and pictures of herself altogether because she was just too ugly. That’s when Melissa decided she couldn’t just sit back and let people beat her down.

“I thought, well, I’m going to do the opposite and show them that they’re not going to get the better of me.”

In response to her bullies, the disability blogger and freelance journalist posted three more selfies on Twitter.


The moment Melissa uploaded this new round of photos, the internet went wild! But this time? In support of the blogger. Since she tweeted the photos, the post has been retweeted nearly 30,000 times and liked nearly 300,000 times.

Melissa says that over the course of her 14-year writing career, she’s used to be people not taking her seriously when she says she’s a journalist. Often being judged simply because of the way she looks.

“I find this is something a lot of women who put themselves out there face – they are subject to visual attacks.”

Melissa has had 26 surgeries over the course of her life to straighten out joints in her hands and knees, as well as treatment for her scoliosis which causes her spine to twist.

Source: Twitter/MelissaBlake

Her life has been anything but easy and Melissa does her best to stay positive, however, she doesn’t deny that people’s mean comments really do have an effect on her.

“I’d be lying if I said they didn’t bother me and it’s hard not to get down on yourself,” she said. “These people are just sat 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.”

Now, Melissa is challenging her followers to share their selfies with the hashtag #MyBestSelfie along with a loving note toward themselves.

“I hope this starts a conversation about disability. What we consider beautiful is so narrow,” she said.

Knowing that she is possibly helping others find their voice and stand up to bullies helps Melissa stay as positive as she can. She also thinks back on all she’s accomplished and it helps her keep things in perspective.


As for any final words for her trolls?

“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.”

So make sure you are kind to people – you never know their story and their struggles. We’re all in this together.

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