After being mocked over her appearance online, a woman with a rare bone disorder has pledged to take a selfie every day for a whole year...
Just to prove her haters wrong.
The condition typically affects the mouth, face, hands, and feet...
But, sadly, Melissa has found herself being cruelly bullied and trolled as a result of her appearance...
It was truly shocking.
The "New Teacher Challenge" required parents to show their children pictures of disabled people all while telling them that it was their new teacher. They then filmed their reactions, which usually involved the children recoiling in horror or bursting into tears.
tiktok stop making fun of visibility disabled people challenge— — red;; 🦑 (@— red;; 🦑)1597158995.0
Obviously, this is not okay.
And it is only further embedding the negative stigma surrounding people who live with disabilities.
There’s a challenge on tiktok and making front of disabled people. Y’all really don’t want it to be taken down?— ☕️Milktea☕️ (@☕️Milktea☕️)1596429801.0
But, when Melissa saw that her face had been used in the sickening challenge...Instead of allowing the trolls to get her down, she decided to issue a poignant plea to all the parents who think it is okay to use her image as a fun "prank" on their children.
Writing for Refinery, Melissa began by recalling the moment she realized she had become a victim of this challenge.
Sadly, Melissa wasn't at all surprised.
She thought she'd seen it all.
"I’m not laughing, though, because none of this is funny. I’m utterly disgusted."
She stressed how parents should be teaching their children how harmful and hurtful these pranks are...
Pointing out that one in 4 adults in the U.S who suffer from the disability, she also noted that there is a dire need for disability representation.
Melissa's resilience is second to none.
A selfie every day for a whole year.
Melissa refused to let the trolls get to her and responded to the hateful comments with a tweet, writing: "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…"
During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m t… https://t.co/lQwUyFBw4I— Melissa Blake (@Melissa Blake)1567899485.0
Every day for the last year, Melissa has uploaded a selfie to her Instagram account as a part of her defiance...
She recently reflected on this decision in another article published by Refinery.
Melissa stressed that she wasn't posting the daily selfies "to be vain."
These selfies were incredibly varied.
But there was one thing each selfie had in common.
"Each selfie truly reflected my personality and who I was. Each was a celebration, and each carried a message."