Mom Speaks Out After Photo Of Her Son Becomes Cruel Internet Meme


Nearly four years after a picture of her falling out of her motorized cart at a Walmart went viral, Jennifer Knapp Wilkinson wrote about the devastating toll becoming a meme took on her health in a post for Quora. Not only does Knapp Wilkinson, now 39, have spondylolisthesis, making her prone to falling and it difficult for her to walk, but she also suffers from severe mental health issues. Ultimately, she wants everyone to know “It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone.”

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She was experiencing a lot of pain and weakness (a symptom of the spondylolisthesis, a spinal condition which causes vertebra to sometimes fall forward and out of place) the day the photo was taken, which is why she elected to use a cart to get around Walmart: “I went to get a case of soda for my husband (He drinks this stuff by the gallons) and I turn and tried to grap [sic] a case off the shelf and the cart tipped,” she wrote. “I thought I saw a flash of light and heard some young girls giggling. I thought nothing of it cause I am use to hearing people make fun of me or saying snide remarks. It was nothing new.”


Months later, the picture was plastered on People of Walmart and Reddit, exacerbating her anxiety and PTSD.

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Though Knapp Wilkinson is grateful the picture didn’t show her face, she’s concerned the spreading of the photo harms people other than herself as well. “Next time you see photos making fun of people just remember you know nothing about these people or the struggles they face everyday. It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone,” she reminded the internet.

She clarified further what she hoped to come of her viral fame in an edit to the original post: “The fact that people assume I am fat because I am lazy is false. Or they assume I am fat because I want to be on disability. 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.”

Read Knapp Wilkinson’s post in full here.

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Source : http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a8631217/jennifer-knapp-wilkinson-people-of-walmart-meme/

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