A 39-year-old US woman who was born with a rare genetic bone and muscular disorder has shared a selfie every day for an entire year after an online troll commented that she was 'too ugly' to post photos of herself.
Melissa Blake, a freelance journalist and disability blogger, reportedly found herself in the midst of online hate and body shaming in August 2019 after she wrote a blog post on US President Donald Trump.
Blake was born with the Freeman Sheldon syndrome, a rare disorder that primarily affects the face, hands, and feet.
One user apparently commented that Melissa should be banned from posting photos of herself because she is 'too ugly'. But Blake refused to let the trolls get to her and instead tweeted everyday snapshots of herself using the hashtag #MyBestSelfie which she said has helped her feel more comfortable in her body as a disabled woman.
"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,' she recalled, reported The State.
"Someone said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I'm too ugly," she added.
Blake initiated an online conversation through social media to spread the message on social acceptance and the need to redefine beauty standards. She spent the next 366 days sharing selfies, ranging from serious to playful, but they all 'truly reflected' her personality.
Reportedly, Melissa has undergone 26 operations due to her condition. Yet, she takes on trolls every day and refuses to be defined by her disability.