The internet gives many bullies or unhappy people a place to attack strangers with their words. Certain people tend to be the most common targets, even today.
It seems as though many get some kind of pleasure in hurting others with their words and using technology, and this is no exception.
The difference in this story is that the victim has been able to speak up and confront those who tried to hurt her.
Jennifer Knapp Wilkinson was shopping in her local Walmart as usual one day when she lost her balance. She fell and tried to catch herself on nearby shelving but struggled, especially because she is bound to a scooter.
Jennifer was able to right herself despite the lack of people around her.
Unfortunately, Jennifer was to find out that she was not as alone as she thought. Instead of helping her when she fell or checking to see if she was okay, a stranger decided to take a picture of her fall and share it online.
Users everywhere came to the post to mock her for being obese and for falling. Many reacted with surprising anger, calling a woman they did not even know all sorts of names and descriptors.
They poked at her weight, called her lazy, and blatantly took joy in her misfortune.
Of course, these people knew nothing about Jennifer, who is a full-time mom with health issues and a love of crocheting. They also did not know that Jennifer is not afraid to fight back.
Many people would shrink away from conflict when so many unknown users are piling in on them with hate. Jennifer, however, decided to stand up for herself.
Knowing that this would bring even more attention to the photo cruelly taken without her knowledge, she proceeded.
“The reason I am sharing this is because people think it is funny to laugh at people with disabilities,” she explains in her post.
Jennifer confronted the accusations of her being “lazy” by explaining that her spinal condition, spondylolisthesis, which sometimes causes pain and weakness in the legs.
The longer Jennifer stands, therefore, the more likely she is to fall–something she is used to.
She goes on to explain that on the day in question, she was feeling particularly weak and in pain. Her mental health was similarly poor at the time, but she still went food shopping for her family.
While attempting to pick up a case of soda for her husband, she slipped and fell hard. She thought she heard giggling nearby but thought nothing of it, as she is sadly used to rude people making fun of her in public.
“You can not see my disabilities but they are there and they are real. So next time you see photos making fun of people just remember you know nothing about these people or the struggles they face every day. It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone.”
Jennifer also condemns the picture itself, saying, “My main point in this answer is I did not choose to be photographed at a low point in my life.”
She continues confronting the accusations of laziness and assumptions of “choosing” to be overweight or physically impaired.
Perhaps most importantly, she reminds everyone: “Obese people are treated as less than human and as something to ridicule. I just want people to be aware that fat people are people too.”
She finishes by explaining that she is not seeking any kind of apologies or pity, but simply trying to encourage understanding and compassion.
“I am a person, please treat me like one!”
We are truly impressed by Jennifer’s grace and caring in the face of so much anger. The world, especially online, can often feel like a negative place, but those who stand up for themselves and others truly make it a bit brighter.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!