Internet memes are hilarious, until you become one. One of the latest gags targeted a two-year-old baby girl. Her real name is Mariah Anderson and she has the extremely rare condition of Chromosome 2 Duplication, meaning her comprehension and motor skills operate at a slower pace. It also effects her facial features. Sadly, Internet trolls used a personal photo that her mother Kyra Pringle uploaded on Facebook (for her 2nd birthday) and the memes compared her daughter to a leprechaun or had captions like “What would you do if this was your child?”
The Anderson family was extremely hurt by the insensitive jokes and spoke against the cyber bullying on NBC channel 2 news in South Carolina.”The smile that you guys think is funny or the smile that you guys are comparing to a leprechaun. The things you guys are saying about my child, she’s not a monster, she’s real” as Kyra told the cameras, slightly fighting back the tears.
Mariah’s grandmother, Linda Pringle, was especially agitated, “If you’re out there and you’re doing these things, and you think that it’s funny, it’s not funny. This is actually a human being, this is a child, this is a baby.” Mariah’s father David Anderson has been trying to keep it cool for his family, but was not at all amused either, “People are going to do what they are going to do. The only thing that’s bothering me is what’s bothering my family.”
As TheRoot.com pointed out, it was likely someone from Kyra’s Facebook friends list that made it into a meme (which is awful). They suggested that parents should be wary of the photos posted of their children. Or better yet, don’t post any at all. That is unfortunate because it’s Kyra’s right to post pictures of her baby girl if she pleases, but this world can be cruel and to innocent ones like Mariah.
On Twitter and Instagram, the meme has become the unexpected star of comedy and social commentary, but sometimes the jokes just go way too far. We know Mariah’s family was aggrieved by it, but it showed the family a great message in not speaking out against cyber bullying. We’re even more relieved that Mariah has a loving family to support her and wish her best in overcoming the illness.
Will you think twice before posting memes now? Sound off in the comments below.