After Trolls Told Her She Was “Too Ugly” to Post Photos of Herself, She Responded With 3 More Pictures

@melissablake via Twitter

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all?” Of course you have, because it’s something you learn in kindergarten, if not earlier.

And yet, there are plenty of people in the world who don’t go by this advice. That’s especially truer in recent years, when people realized they can post on the Internet without even showing their face—giving them more confidence to say mean things and get away with it.

That’s right, people think that it’s okay to say something off-putting just because no one knows who’s saying those things, but here’s the thing: That doesn’t suddenly make it okay! Bullying is bullying, no matter in person or via the Internet.

Meet Melissa Blake, a disabled journalist, who’s just one of many who was the victim of countless rude comments from what we deem “Internet trolls.” Melissa’s story begins after a recent column she wrote was mentioned in a YouTube video. In the video, a photo of Melissa was shown, and people mouthed off.

Comments included anything from “A perfect example of a land whale,” to “Is that her picture? Ewwww!” and even someone comparing her to a “an overweight, real life version of Peppermint Patty from the Peanuts.”

Despite these incredibly hurtful things, it seems Melissa also took a phrase from kindergarten to heart—and that’s “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

The talented writer—who blogs for popular websites such as Glamour, The New York Times, and the Washington Post, by the way!—knew that she wasn’t going to take any of these words to heart.

So how did she respond? Something way better than being rude back. She decided to post even more photos of herself to shut these trolls up and give herself a little more confidence!

“During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly,” Melissa posted to her Twitter. “So I’d just like to commemorate the occasion with these three selfies.”

Her amazing response garnered so much attention—more than 28,000 retweets and nearly 290,000 likes—that she realized she had more people on her side encouraging her in comments than the people who wanted to insult her.

That’s not to say it’s ever okay to bully another person because of what they look like. Like any true writer, Melissa had a lot to say about that too:

“The dig at my journalism credentials doesn’t bother me, but you know what?? I’m getting so tired of people (read: men) thinking it’s OK to insult a woman’s appearance. Yes, my disability makes me look different. Trust me, I know that. I’ve known that my entire life. And people wonder why I’ve struggled so much with self-acceptance when it comes to how I look and our society’s notion of what ‘beautiful’ is. It’s because of comments like these — comments that dismiss me and deem me unworthy. This is just one more example of the type of ableism that people with disabilities face every day and it’s something I’m constantly trying to change.”

You go girl! Who’s laughing now?

What are your opinions on Internet trolling? How do you feel about how Melissa was treated because of her looks?