“You Won’t Believe What Happened When Bullies Tried to Silence Her Online! Now She’s a Stunning Model!”

Advertisement

Melissa Blake was born different and felt insecure about her looks for a while. But as time went on, she learned to love herself. Now, she’s a model in Fashion Week and speaks up for people with disabilities. She has more than 200 thousand followers on social media who show her lots of love and thanks.

Melissa never saw anyone who looked like her in fashion magazines.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

Melissa Blake was born in 1981 with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting her bones and muscles, leading her to undergo over 26 surgeries. She owes much of her independence to her parents, who taught her to never let her disability define her.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

Melissa describes herself as a freelance writer covering relationships, disabilities, and pop culture, as well as a disability activist and pun enthusiast. With a journalism degree, she’s contributed to prestigious magazines like The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, and others, while also maintaining an engaging blog worth checking out.

© melissablake81 / Instagram© melissablake81 / Instagram© melissablake81 / Instagram

“My mom and sister are my favorite people in the world, and our two 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.”

© melissablake81 / Instagram

Despite facing criticism from trolls about her appearance, Melissa’s dream of modeling came true.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

“When I was a teenager, someone said that I could never be a model because I’m disabled.” Despite trolls telling her to stop posting selfies on her Twitter page, Melissa didn’t let their negativity hold her back. Instead, she responded with even more selfies, showing her confidence and wit. To her trolls’ surprise, her viral tweets and selfies eventually led to her walking the stage at New York Fashion Week. Mindy Scheier, the founder and CEO of Runway for Dreams, became one of her fans and invited Melissa to be part of the fashion event at NYFW in 2020.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

Blake mentioned that she hadn’t planned on sharing pictures of herself for a whole year, but she started to notice the positive effect it had on her. “With each selfie, I felt more comfortable in my own body and discovered a freedom I’d never really felt before as a disabled woman. I grew up feeling different (and looking different) from people my age, which definitely had an impact on my self-esteem and self-image.”

© melissablake81 / Instagram

“With each click of my iPhone, I felt like I was able to have a conversation with my younger self, telling her all the things I wish I had known back when I was a teenager.” Blake confessed that sharing the selfies wasn’t consistently easy, as one of her major fears revolved around anticipating people’s reactions.

“Disabled people often don’t fit society’s beauty standards, and sadly, disability representation is scarce in everything from pop culture to politics. We rarely see disabled individuals in movies, TV shows, or leadership roles.” She mentioned that others with disabilities have reached out to her, sharing their own photos and stories. This encouragement motivated her to keep going.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

This is the outfit Melissa modeled for New York Fashion Week as part of the Runway for Dreams project. Over 25 people, including brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos Adaptive, and Target, modeled from home. The virtual runway gave over 25 disabled individuals the chance to share their stories about living with a disability and why it’s crucial for them to be recognized and included by the fashion industry.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

Let’s pause and listen—Melissa has an important message for the world.

© melissablake81 / Instagram

“If I could have the world’s attention for just 10 seconds, I’d say: ‘Please listen to disabled people. Our voices and our stories matter — stop making us an afterthought in society.'”

© melissablake81 / Instagram

We asked Melissa what she would tell her 18-year-old self if she had the chance, and we love her response. “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.”

© melissablake81 / Instagram

We take pride in Melissa and hope her voice continues to be heard. However, individuals with disabilities and those around them often face criticism. For example, this man received criticism for building a family with a woman who has special needs.

Advertisement
Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker