This mom turned fat-shaming jokes of her son into something positive

By Litaletu Zidepa
28 May 2016

When Jessica Benton created baby Landon’s Instagram page in October 2015, she had two intentions: to show people how cute Landon was and to follow other adorable baby Instagram accounts.

When Jessica Benton created baby Landon’s Instagram page in October 2015, she had two intentions: to show people how cute he was and to follow other adorable baby Instagram accounts.

“I wanted to dress him really cute, but I also didn’t want to overshare photos of him on Facebook,” the mother Illinois told Buzzfeed. “On Instagram I didn’t have friends and family following me [on] there, so I could put as many photos [of Landon] up as I wanted.” But little did she know that things would not go the way she intended.

Upon sharing the her sons pictures, one follower decided to take a picture of Landon and post it on their Facebook account accompanied with the caption “Stuff Curry”, encouraging his followers to hurl fat-shaming jokes about the little boy.

The photo has been shared on the social media platform 9000 times. “And from there it went to [entertainment websites] WorldStar HipHop, Hood Vines, and all these other places,” Jessica said. According to her, a member of a breastfeeding group on Facebook recognised the photo of her son and brought it to her attention. The stay-at-home mom said she was first confused about the meaning behind the caption “Stuff Curry” and then realised it was a cruel word play of Warrior basketball player Stephen Steph Curry.

Horrified, Jessica told Buzzfeed that she was quite surprised at the cruelty extent people would go to, even calling Landan ‘fat ass’, as a way of drawing attention to his weight and also questioning her parenting skills with misinformed judgments.

Jessica said she tried reaching the person behind the post but ended up being blocked, and when reported the incident to Facebook, nothing was done about it because “no terms or conditions had been breached and so nothing could be done.” After the incident happened, Jessica decided to make all her accounts ‘private’ with the hopes that it would simply go away as the situation was difficult for her to go through because her 20-year-old son – who was a victim of bullying- took his life. “I want to protect my children probably 100 times more than the average mum because our family has been affected by suicide, one of the worst things a family can go through,” she said. “I don’t want another child hurt.” Left with nothing to do, Jessica decided to turn things around and make the incident a positive one and took matters in her own hands.

The mother decided to embrace the once hurtful name “Stuff Curry” that was given to her baby boy by ordering a Warriors basketball team jersey with the name 'Stuff' written on the back. Jessica revealed to Buzzfeed that the response was “amazingly positive” and that Landon was getting quite a following.
“I get messages from people who told me that they were having a really bad day, but then they saw a picture of Landon and it brightened up their day,” she said. “And that makes me really happy.”
Victims of bullying have also sent her messages saying they are inspired by her courage of turning the bad incident into a positive one. “Landon is so loveable and so sweet. … People often stop me in the street or grocery store and tell me ‘that is a cute baby’.”

“You never know how deeply your words can affect somebody else – people have no filter online and it’s really sad,” she added.

“I hope that when Landon gets older he stands up for other people who are bullied.”

Sources: buzzfeed.com, instagram.com

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