These days, most people rely on social media as their main method of keeping in touch with others. Sending pictures of your kids to loved ones is a common practice.
Natasha, a new mother, is adjusting to her role. Like many other mothers, she enjoys sharing adorable photos of her baby son, Raedyn, on social media. However, what sets her apart is the cyberbullying her son faces because of his appearance.
She and Raedyn’s moments are documented in videos shared on the popular app TikTok. She also receives hundreds, if not thousands, of daily comments asking her to stop sharing her son’s photos and videos.
But Natasha is determined to continue. She firmly believes that despite his unconventional appearance, her son is flawless.
Natasha often encounters hurtful comments online, like, “What’s wrong with your child?” or “Why does your kid have to be so ugly?” Raedyn was born with Pfeiffer syndrome, which results in skeletal, facial, and craniofacial malformations. However, Natasha is convinced that her son has no flaws and proudly shares videos of him online.
The online trolls can be cruel, and some of the most common comments she hears include questions like, “What quality of life will he have? Why would you subject him to that? You’re letting him have such a miserable life as it is.”
The negativity extends beyond the internet. Natasha claims that strangers rudely approach her in public and ask questions about her child’s condition. She said, “People just come up to me and impolitely ask: ‘What’s wrong with your child?’ or ‘Why does your kid have that look on his face?’ No human being should be addressed in such a manner.”
The constant scrutiny makes it difficult for Natasha to go out in public. She finds explaining her son’s health problems exhausting and wishes people would understand that she is a mom, and her son is just a baby. Their lives are not centered around his diagnosis.
Natasha hopes for a world where disabled individuals are not rejected because of their looks or perceived limitations. It’s disheartening to witness that people are still quick to criticize those who are in any way different. The hope is for more inclusivity and kindness to prevail.
Sending love and best wishes to Natasha and young Raedyn.