Metro-East News

A St. Louis woman was mocked online for her smile, so an oral surgeon stepped up to help

After a photo mocking a south St. Louis woman’s smile went viral, people are rallying to help her.

Jessica McDaniels, 32, said she was always teased because of her teeth, KSDK reported, but when someone snapped a picture of her smiling and shared it on social media, the teasing escalated. About 25,000 people have shared the post on Facebook.

McDaniels was only taking a photo of her friend’s proposal, but became an internet target instead.

Friends and strangers have rushed to McDaniels’ defense ever since the photo began circulating. One friend created a GoFundMe page to raise money to help McDaniels fix her teeth.

“My classmate’s picture has gone viral and I find this to be very ridiculous,” the GoFundMe description reads. “I think that it is sad that most of the people that are reposting and doing this cyberbullying are adults. JESSICA has struggled with this issue and has been teased for most of life about her teeth. Instead of criticizing and tearing Jessica down, let’s support her dream of making her smile perfect.”

Since then, an oral surgeon with SSM Health DePaul reached out to McDaniels and agreed to lend her services at no cost to help give her a new smile, according to KSDK.

The GoFundMe has raised more than $7,000, and many who donated have left encouraging comments for McDaniels.

“I am sorry for how so called human beings have treated you,” Christopher Whitehead wrote. “Please feel the sincere strong hugs I am sending you. Stay strong and please still smile with the confidence and beauty that only you can offer. You looked so happy in the photo watching your friend.”

“I wish I could give more. You’re beautiful and don’t let anyone say otherwise. No one can judge a book by its cover,” Victoria Scott wrote.