Fierce

People Said A Writer Was Too Ugly To Take Selfies And Now She’s Getting Support From Twitter, News Outlets, And Even Brazil

Being a woman with a public voice makes you a target to trolls — especially when you’re criticizing powerful men and even more when you live with a disability. Case in point: Melissa Blake. The freelance journalist published a critical piece about President Donald Trump on CNN last week, and instead of commenting on the content of her article, people — mostly men — on the Internet bullied the writer for her appearance.

 

Blake has the genetic bone and muscle disorder called Freeman-Sheldon.

 Syndromes affect the mouth, face, hands, and feet and recently she was inundated with tweets from people calling her “ugly” and “fat,” referring to her as “it” and comparing her to a potato and a blobfish.

One cruel commenter even suggested she should be banned from posting pictures of herself online because of her appearance. For Blake, that remark was the last straw — and an invitation for defiance.

“I thought, well, I’m going to do the opposite and show them that they’re not going to get the better of me,” Blake, 38, told BBC

In response to the bullying, the DeKalb, Illinois-based woman posted three selfies, grinning at all her haters.

“During the last round of trollgate, people said that I should be banned from posting photos of myself because I’m too ugly. So I’d just like to commemorate the occasion with these 3 selfies,” she tweeted Sunday alongside the photos.

The inspiring message has gone viral, with nearly 26 thousand retweets and more than 273 thousand likes at the time of writing. People all over the Internet have been celebrating Blake’s retort. Some have called her a “goddess” and a “bad bitch.”

Latinas are also among her fans. Melissa Aguilera showered Blake with compliments, saying, “from one Melissa to another. You’re beautiful.” While Mila Gonzalez offered a bit of advice: “Fuck the haters! You look happy in the selfies. I love that!”

Blake told the Chicago Tribune that the massive support was “beyond anything I could have imagined — and quite overwhelming.”

“I posted the tweet on Saturday night and didn’t expect this huge response at all,” she said. “But I’m so glad that it’s resonating with people and to have something so positive come out of those nasty, negative comments is such a joy!”

The extreme torment followed by international support resembles the story of Lizzie Velásquez. In 2006, the Austin, Texas-based motivational speaker and author was dubbed the “World’s Ugliest Woman” in a video posted on YouTube. Velásquez, who was just 17 years old at the time, lives with a non-terminal rare condition called Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome, which, among other symptoms, prevents her from accumulating body fat and gaining weight. Inspired to speak out against bullying and share her story, she co-authored “Lizzie Beautiful: The Lizzie Velásquez Story” with her mother in 2010.

Like Velásquez, Blake is also refusing to stay silent and allow bullies to win. The writer, who later posted screenshots of some of the mean things Internet users have told her in the past, took the moment to highlight that vile criticism of her looks isn’t new. By now, she says, being judged on her appearance during her 14-year-career as a journalist is something she’s “come to expect.”

“I find this is something a lot of women who put themselves out there face — they are subject to visual attacks,” she told the newspaper.

In addition to the loving community that has come from her response to cyberbullying, her cheerful defiance might also have a positive impact on her career.

Since her viral tweet, she’s been interviewed by mainstream national and international news outlets and even received an email from a book publisher.

The writer, who graduated from Northern Illinois University with a journalism degree in 2005, has published articles about disability, relationships and pop culture in the New York Times, Glamour and Cosmopolitan. Additionally, she runs a blog called So About What I Said, which has a tagline that reads: “Smart is the new sexy, awkward is the new cool, flawed is the new beautiful.”

Despite all the attention, Blake shares that not much has changed in her life. Ultimately, she wants to highlight the abuse women who dare to have a voice on the Internet experience. 

“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,” she said in a blog post.

Blake continued: “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.”

Read: Get a Box of Tissues Before You Read This Woman’s Brave Fight Against Bullying

Use These Tricks to Keep Your Curls Cute and Healthy During the Winter’s Coldest Weather

Fierce

Use These Tricks to Keep Your Curls Cute and Healthy During the Winter’s Coldest Weather

ebscurlytv / Instagram

Having curly hair comes with an extra responsibility that must be taken seriously. If you’ve got a head full of curls, you can’t just jump out of the shower, put your hair in a chongo and go about your day. No, your luscious locks need extra care to be their absolute best. Moisturizing, braiding, brushing, styling, combing and so on. Whether you keep it curly or flat-ironed it straight, your pelo already needs a lot of regular TLC. That’s just during mild weather; don’t get us started on the extra lengths you have to go to in order to care for it when it gets extra cold. 

Let’s just say three words: dull, dry and brittle. Sadly, this is what your curls could be reduced to thanks to the blistering chill of the winter months. 

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve complied a list of the best ways to keep your curls cute and healthy during the chilliest times of the year. So, check this list out and wear those beautiful curls with pride, mija.

1. Conditioning can be cleansing. 

Twitter / @unwash

If you haven’t ditched your shampoo for co-washing yet, you might want to give it a shot. Most shampoos have harmful sulfates in them and hair that is very wavy, curly or textured can be damaged by this. Instead, try a good co-wash conditioner and use that to replace your shampoo. It will cleanse while providing lots of moisturizer and re-hydration while removing excess oil, dirt and product build up. 

2. Hair masks = weekly TLC

Twitter / @garnierusa

Hair masks are super hydrating conditioning treatments that can be used once a week. These formulas can revitalize your curls and repair any damage done between your treatments. You’ll love how super silky your hair will feel after you wash one of these masks away. There are tons of different formulas with distinct ingredients that all offer varying benefits. Try a few and find your fav!

3. Your hair needs protein, too.

Twitter / @botanika_beauty

Just like our bodies, protein makes our hair strong. So, naturally, our curls could use a little protein boast every once in a while. Try doing a protein treatment at the beginning of winter (every 4 to 6 weeks following that) and you will see an improvement on breakage. Use a deep conditioner afterwards and you’ll be good to go. 

4. A good de-tangling spray will save your life.

Twitter / @cantubeauty

Windy conditions and harsh temperatures are no fun for your curls but that’s no reason for you to punish them. Make upkeep easy by finding a de-tangling spray that will tame tangles and part knots in seconds. Add it into your am and pm routines and you’ll notice a substantial difference and your scalp will appreciate the act of kindness. 

5. Try out hair oils for your curls.

Twitter / @bombacurls

For curl health, hydration is the name of the game. During these cold, dry months, you want to keep you scalp moisturized but you definitely don’t want to over do it and drown your curls. There are various kinds of hair oils and their ingredients offer everything from stress relief to a dandruff-free head of hair. Try a few but be sure to find a light formula that won’t weigh you down. 

6. Give a diffuser a chance. 

Twitter / @conair

There’s a misconception that heat harms hair but that isn’t completely true. In fact, for your curls, a healthy blast of heat is just what they need during these winter months. Whether you have a diffuser or a hooded dryer, feel free to use it daily to revitalize your curls and give them a lively bounce.

7. A leave-in conditioner is mandatory.

Twitter / @cantubeauty 

We know that dryness and breakage is a big issue during the winter so most of the tricks you’ll look to will attempt to add hydration to your hair. A leave-in conditioner is guaranteed to do that. However, it will also add volume to your ‘do and will work through your daily knots and tangles. It will also drastically reduce that breakage issue. Your curls are practically begging for this product.

8. Lay your head down on luxury before you go mimis. 

Twitter / @slipsilkpillowcase

The best way to care for your curly hair is to have a great night’s sleep. If you’re up all night tossing and turning, you’ll be up in the morning with a head full of tangles. Instead, invest in feather pillows that are soft and always feel like they’re on the cool side. Top them off with a set of especially smooth silk pillow cases. You’ll wake up feeling like a Disney Princess.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEMCqOg4Pm0  

15 Fashion And Beauty Trends That Should Stay In The 2010s

Fierce

15 Fashion And Beauty Trends That Should Stay In The 2010s

hairdazzleofficial / Instagram

2019 is coming to a close, and you know what that means—we’re about to begin a whole new decade. Each decade has its ups and downs, its memorably bright moments and its tragically bad trends. The last ten years brought us some crazes that really, truly slayed…but there are so many fashion and beauty trends that we hope will NOT return in the 2020s.

Spray Tan

Credit: Pinterest

The Guardian reported that the spray tan was the fastest growing area of cosmetics in 2010. Let’s just hope. Thankfully, that statistic didn’t hold up throughout the 2010s. Let’s hope it stays that way through the 2020s.

Wedge Sneakers

Credit: Pinterest

Okay, sometimes these can be pretty fly, if paired with the right outfit. And lots of celebs loved them—from Beyonce to Alicia Keys to Nicki Minaj, they were everywhere in the early-to-mid aughts. But they’re not the most functional, if you think about the fact that they’re a sneaker, and a lot of ladies complained that they (ironically) made their legs look shorter. They’re still around, though, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them carry over into the next decade.

Couture Athleisure

Credit: Pinterest

On a similar note…athleisure?! Athleisure is just glorified sweatpants. There, I said it. But much like its weird cousin, the Wedge Sneaker, it’s likely to grossly overstay its welcome.

Cold Shoulder Cut-Out Tops

Credit: Pinterest

This is just a matter of logic, people. When you wear long sleeves, it’s probably kind of cold out, right? Why would you expose your innocent shoulders to the elements? It makes no sense. Put a real shirt on.

Glitter Roots

Credit: Pinterest

Glitter is one of those polemic things that people either love or really, really hate. Even if you fall into the former, it’s safe to say that no one is trying to keep this trend alive…glitter is hard enough to clean up, so who wants that stuff embedded in their hair? It may look cute and whimsical, but no thanks.

Heavy Contouring

Credit: Makeupandbeauty.com

Oh, the magic of contouring. No one can deny its wildly transformative powers. But in reality, contouring is something that works best when you’re in front of the camera—it’s not really for everyday life. Not only can it add unnecessary time to your morning routine, it can often have a masklike effect if not done well, and we ain’t got nothing to hide in 2020!

Single Earring

Credit: Refinery29

The single earring trend took hold in 2017 (though it started back in the 80s), and honestly—it’s tough to say whether it should stay or go. Asymmetry can be edgy and fierce, for sure, but leaving one ear completely empty? That sounds like something only Prince could pull off. Maybe it deserves a pass IF the wearer can really rock it.

Heel-less Heels

Credit: Daily Mail

Heel-less heels are often used for cosplay, which makes sense—they’re cartoonish enough to work well for a costume. And if you’re dressing up as a person whose ankles may break at any moment, they are absolutely perfect!

Bubble Nails

Credit: Pinterest

Bubble nails—or “hump” nails—are essentially fingernails in 3D. The sculpted acrylic takes on the appearance of (you guessed it!) a bubble, and even though it first came on the scene in 2009 and got pretty popular in 2015, 2020 just may not be ready for this jelly.

Clear Plastic Boots

Credit: Pinterest

Speaking of jelly, the recent clear plastic boots trend hearkens back to the jelly sandals of the 90s. There’s definitely something nostalgic about this current iteration, but boots have a tendency to make feet hot and, well, damp. Not sure how much we want to show off our sweaty feet in the years to come.

Negative Space Eyeliner

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

We all know the satisfaction of a perfect wing, but this negative space trend would be way too hard to master. Imagine all the time it would take to perfect that little triangle—and unlike a classic winged tip, it’s unlikely to flatter most eye shapes. Thank you, next.

Flared Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BV8y_WthU__/?utm_source=ig_embed

Flared nails first emerged in the early aughts, but they regained traction in 2017. Why, though?

Real Fur

Credit: Imgur

Animal activists argue that clothing made from real fur is unethical, as it unnecessarily puts animals in harm’s way and are likely to be mistreated at every level of fur and leather production. With this in mind, fur alternatives are a much better trend to pursue in 2020 and beyond—

Fake Fur

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3o1ekZgT9a/

—Or are they? The truth is, faux furs pose a major threat to the environment, as the methods and materials used to produce it are teeming with petrochemical poisons. Up-and-coming “bioleathers,” made from biodegradable and lab-grown compounds, are likely to be the best alternative that the upcoming decade will have to offer.

Man Buns

Credit: Pinterest

You either love them or you hate them. Either way, it might be okay for them to stay fossilized in the 2010s, at least for a while.