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"Disabled people aren’t here for your ridicule."

A Message To TikTok Parents Who Use My Face To Make Their Kids Cry

Melissa Blake:

“Oh, look,” I deadpan as I read the latest message from someone letting me know that they saw my photo on TikTok being shared in a hurtful way. “Surprise, surprise!”

I joke because I’m definitely not surprised. As a disabled woman, people ridiculing and mocking my appearance is practically the most predictable thing about social media.

I was born with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a genetic bone and muscular disorder, and I’m also a freelance writer and disability activist, which means that part of my job is being very active and visible on social media. And because I look different, people have called me everything from “disgusting” to “a blobfish” to saying that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly.

I was bullied at school. Bullies will always find a reason to bully you, no matter how dumb. At least I could escape from it in various ways.

These days, however, the bullies can follow you just about anywhere online, and even people from the other side of the planet who've never met you in real life can join in the dog pile.

But what I find both inexplicable and inexcusable is the examples cited in the article where parents are using images of people with visible disabilities to frighten their kids. I literally have no words to describe how sickening that is.

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