A 38-year-old writer with disability uploaded three beautiful selfies on Twitter after people said she’s ‘too ugly.
Melissa Blake of Dekalb, Illinois, has Freeman Sheldon syndrome, a muscular and bone disorder that affects the hands, feet, and face, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
“People were talking about my appearance in really derogatory, nasty ways,” Blake told PEOPLE. “It was all just how she is fat, she’s ugly. And one of them said that I can be banned from posting pictures of myself on social media.”
But instead of ignoring people’s remarks, she used it as an opportunity to show them that “I do have a right to be seen as someone with a disability.”
She then shared three photos of herself “to do the opposite of what they want me to do.”
People then started liking and retweeting her post and her followers increased to more than 65,000.
“I wanted these people to know they were not going to intimidate me,” said Blake, who has been writing for more than a decade. “I think a lot of women deal with that too, not just women with disabilities. It can be a really toxic place and there can be so much negativity.”
After seeing the positive response from many people, social media has become a happy place for her.
“It just really made me see the good in people again,” she says. “Things have changed.”
Since she was born, she has had 26 surgeries to straighten her bones and joints. But she remained positive despite being bullied since she was young.
“I feel the support of so many people around the world that I never even met,” she expressed. “It’s been overwhelming in the best way possible. The negativity often overshadows a lot of the good people, but it’s nice to see the other side of it for once.”
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