One incredibly proud and awesome mother defended her young son against an Internet troll who said he was ugly.
Megan Davies Mennes, a teacher and blogger, started posting pictures of her adorable son Quinn, who has Down Syndrome, on her blog and on Instagram. After posting one particular picture of her smiling son playing in the grass, a user that goes by @JusesCrustHD commented and simply wrote, “Ugly.”
Mennes didn’t take the comment lightly and decided to take to her blog to come back at the user.
“I don't want to make assumptions about you, but I can only guess that you know little about the helplessness that parents feel when caring for a sick infant with respiratory issues,” wrote Mennes in an open letter to the user. “Quinn was sick last week, but was feeling much better by Friday. We decided to sit in the backyard and soak up the sun after school. There aren't many things in this world more beautiful than seeing your recently-ill child light up in a smile, and I snapped a few photos to celebrate his recovery, then posted them on Instagram with the hashtag "#downsyndrome." I love to look through those photos myself in my spare time, because damn if those kiddos aren't adorable. Of course, you feel differently because you, JusesCrustHD, found this photo and left a comment with one simple word: Ugly.”
Mennes went on to blast the user for his comment and outed his trolling, saying that she saw similar comments he made on the pictures of other Instagram users who included the same hashtag. In the end, Mennes proved that any negative situation can be turned into a positive and told the troll that she wished him the best.
You claim it was a joke and that people should lighten up. But what about purposefully seeking out pictures of our children? What about the fact that a beautiful photograph of my son was tarnished by your hatred? That’s not a joke. That’s cyberbullying. Needless to say, I reported your profile.
This will not be the last time someone discounts my son because he is different. It will not be the last time someone makes a joke at his expense, but to actively seek out actual people to tease goes beyond cruel. It’s inhuman.
I recognize that you want to see me get worked up about your little “joke.” I’ll be honest; it’s hard not to be angry about it, but I can’t allow myself to carry that weight on my shoulders. I can’t allow myself to feel anything but sorry for an individual with so little tact. Because in end, you will be the one to face the consequences of your choices someday. There are few people in this world who tolerate that kind of backwards thinking, and you’ll eventually mouth off to the wrong person. My guess is that you already have, which is why you hide behind a screen name.
God knows there were plenty of cruel adolescent boys in my time: boys who took pleasure in pranks and jokes at others’ expense. There were even a few of them that were directed at me, but it gave me tough skin and I grew from the experience of facing such mistreatment. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to let this one go; I know where most of those boys ended up, and it’s nowhere I’d want to be. And as a teacher, I’ve seen kids like you crash and burn. Go outside. Read a book. Compliment someone. Most importantly, enlighten yourself; there’s already enough cruelty in this world, and anyone worth their salt should be striving to make this place better, not worse.
“I simply hope my own children learn to look past ignorant comments and actions and treat others with respect and dignity,” concluded Mennes. “We all deserve it, even you.”