Damion Gross is a 20-year-old living in Atlanta, Georgia, who only started using social media back in March. But already, he’s inspiring people from all over the world by giving a voice to those living with disabilities through his honest content — including a recent viral video where he discusses his biggest insecurity, his feet.
In a video posted to his social media accounts — including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — the Washington, D.C., native who lives with cerebral palsy, sat down in front of the camera to open up about what he’s most vulnerable about, and to put it on display in order to properly face it. Now, many of the more than 220,000 people who have viewed the short video of Gross discussing his feet are responding positively for his unprecedented transparency.
I am really getting tired of people talking about my toes I can’t help that they look like this I’ve been dealing with them my entire life so there’s nothing that can do to fix them why would you want to pick on somebody like me ? It’s really hard for me so please stop pic.twitter.com/S2YZfLWiw6— 𝒟𝒶𝓂𝒾ℴ𝓃 🤴🏾 (@DamionG_) July 29, 2019
“I am really getting tired of people talking about my toes,” he tweeted alongside the video. “I can’t help that they look like this.”
In the clip, he makes mention of the fact that a lot of other people with cerebral palsy have feet that look similar to his. But, he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, that he’s always been sensitive to the criticism.
“In the videos that I post, I won’t wear any socks just because it’s like hot here in Georgia so I’m just trying to stay comfortable,” he explained. “So I’ve seen that some people were commenting on my toes and they kind of get to me just because that’s one of my biggest insecurities.”
Gross, who has aggregated tens of thousands of followers online, naturally took to his social media feeds to confront the issue, since he says his vulnerability is what allowed people to connect with him in the first place.
“I’m very transparent. I’m very authentic. I always speak my mind,” he says.
And although it’s proven fun for him to do so, he also recognizes that it’s important for him to “always keep it real” because there’s nobody else like him doing the same on social media.
“My main focus is to inspire others in my community, the disabled community, because we don’t have a lot of spokespeople out speaking about disability,” he says of his content, which has already brought him success. “Social media had never seen anybody like me before. I guess they’ve never seen somebody so confident in their body and just so confident in the stuff that can be kind of sad to certain people.”
Those responding to his latest video, however, don’t find his situation sad. Instead, they find it both inspiring and enlightening, especially when it comes to the treatment of people with disabilities and how Gross overcomes it.
Damion — anyone picking on you is a jerk and should be muted or blocked immediately. Lots of people come on twitter because they’re so miserable, the only way they can feel good about themselves is to be mean. It’s strange, I know. But don’t let it get you down! You rock!!!— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 29, 2019
People talking trash about how someone looks on the outside usually do so because they secretly know they’re trash on the inside.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 29, 2019
What a strong person you are! The strength and character you’re showing here won’t just help people learn to be better, it’ll help others learn to speak up and be strong, too. Thank you, @DamionG_.— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) July 29, 2019
They want to pick on you because they feel small and stupid inside and there is nothing they can do about THAT. https://t.co/etWexkHAfd— Sasha Stone (@AwardsDaily) July 29, 2019
Social media is sick. Stop making fun of people — especially for their disabilities. We need to spread more love. Damion, keep your head up. Ignore these people on social media.✨ https://t.co/XtgNt5FHTn— Nicholas Liddle (@NLiddle16) July 29, 2019
“Those comments make me smile,” he says. “This could change my life and change other peoples’s lives. So that’s why I just keep going.”
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