News flash: Writer Melissa Blake doesn’t care what haters think about her looks.
Blake, who has contributed to publications like Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, has Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, which “primarily affects the face, hands, and feet,” according to the National Library of Medicine.
“People with this disorder have a distinctive facial appearance including a small mouth (microstomia) with pursed lips, giving the appearance of a ‘whistling face,'” its website says, ticking off possible features of “a prominent forehead and brow ridges, a sunken appearance of the middle of the face… a short nose, a long area between the nose and mouth… deep folds in the skin between the nose and lips… full cheeks, and a chin dimple shaped like an ‘H’ or ‘V.’ “
Earlier this month, Blake, who writes that she’s undergone “more than 26 surgeries” on her blog, stood up against her critics on Twitter, posting a trio of selfies for those who though she was “too ugly” to share pictures of herself.
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel Aug. 7, conservative pundit Mark Dice mentioned Blake’s CNN Op-Ed published days earlier titled: “What if we all unfollowed Trump on Twitter?” During his commentary, he showed Blake’s picture, which some addressed in the comments section. One called her “a Cabbage Patch Kid reject,” another describer her as “one ugly whatever.”
Blake herself shared screenshots of comments knocking her appearance on Twitter.
She explained to “Good Morning America” how deeply the criticisms cut in a piece that published online Thursday.
“Usually the comments roll off my back,” she said of previous feedback. “But it was really hurtful.”
Blake said she wanted to share the photos as a way to show trolls they will not keep her down.
“I’m just defiant enough to do the opposite of what they want me to do,” she shared with the outlet. “I thought, ‘You will not get the best of me.'”
She told “GMA” that she wants people’s ideas of what they consider attractive to widen.
“I hope this starts a conversation about disability,” she said. “What we consider beautiful is so narrow.”
On Sept. 7, Blake told her Twitter followers: “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…”
The tweet dripping with confidence has been liked more than 290,000 times.
Earlier this week, Blake conducted a Twitter poll asking followers if she should share an additional selfie; 94% of respondents voted yes.
More: Portland TV anchor gives on-air rebuttal after male viewer critiqued her attire