Melissa Was Bullied That She Is Too Ugly to Post Selfies, But She Became a Model Despite That

People
month ago

Often, we find ourselves in situations where negative comments from others may not only fail to reach us but can also leave a lasting imprint on our thoughts as the years go by. Nothing is impossible if we put in the effort and have the desire to succeed, just as Melissa proved to those who doubted her ability to become a model due to her disabilities, by becoming a model for New York Fashion Week.

Fashion magazines were quite different back then.

Melissa Blake was born in 1981 with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a genetic bone and muscular disorder. This condition caused her to overcome 26 surgeries and she credits her independence to her parents’ teachings, urging her never to let her disability define her.

When asked to define herself, Melissa shared with Bright Side: “I’m a freelance writer covering relationships, disabilities, and pop culture. I’m also a disability activist and lover of a good pun.” Holding a journalism degree, she has contributed to prestigious magazines such as The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, and maintains a blog, which we encourage you to explore.

“My mom and sister are my favorite people in the world, and our 2 cats are the best cats in the world. There’s nothing better than spending the day with my family; that’s when I’m the happiest and most content.”

Growing up in the 1990s and reading magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour, with stars like Cindy Crawford, she hoped to see disabled women like herself, but they were nowhere to be found.

She wondered where the wheelchair models were and why people who looked like her weren’t represented. The truth was they just weren’t there, tied to society’s strict beauty rules that decide what’s beautiful and accepted. Always loving fashion, Melissa never thought she’d be a part of it.

Trolls have criticized Melissa’s appearance, but her dream of modeling came true.

Despite facing criticism on Twitter for posting selfies, Melissa responded with grace and resilience, defiantly sharing even more selfies. This unexpected move led her to the New York Fashion Week stage, courtesy of Mindy Scheier, the founder of Runway for Dreams, who became a fan and invited Melissa to participate in the 2020 fashion event.

This is the outfit Melissa modeled for the New York Fashion Week as part of the Runway for Dreams project, where more than 25 people modeled brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos Adaptive, and Target, from the comfort of their home. The virtual catwalk allowed more than 25 disabled people to share their stories about living with a disability and how important it is for them to be seen and acknowledged by the fashion industry.

Disability shouldn’t define people.

Reflecting on her journey, Melissa would tell her 18-year-old self, “I promise you that there will come a day when you love yourself and your disabled body. Also, you’re going to do some amazing writing!! You’re going to be okay, Melissa.”

If Melissa had everyone’s attention for a while, this is the message she’d want to convey: “Please listen to disabled people. Our voices and our stories matter — stop making us an afterthought in society.”

Undercovering her writing skills, she wrote a book about her journey. In the upcoming book, “Beautiful People”, Melissa covers language about disability, challenges like ableism, and her personal struggles. The book also sheds light on forgotten heroes of the disability rights movement, making it an essential read for understanding disability better. Her book is not available for reading yet but will be later this year.

If we truly believe in something, we can make it happen because nothing is impossible. Among Melissa, this mom is a great example of the saying as well!

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Trolley STUPIDITY makes me crazy! I hate HATERS! Just stop, already. Get a life.. Work on yourself.

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