The Internet is full of urban legends dating back to the first chain email you were forced to forward to 10 other people or suffer dire, maybe even deadly consequences. Other rumors can be less disturbing, unless of course you find yourself as the butt of the joke.
It’s just so easy to forget that on the other side of our screens, real people are being subjected to the ridicule of a meme. As early as 2004, this image began circulating the web with a story of a man divorcing his wife for having “ugly” children and lying to him about having plastic surgery before their wedding. It even claimed he sued the woman and courts granted him thousands of dollars for her deceiving looks.
Despite being reported on by several news outlets, the strange story is 100% false.
The Daily Mail, Mirror, and New York Post, among other publications the world over, have all featured articles claiming the story as fact, but the woman behind it all has stepped forward to fight back against the fictional allegations.
In reality, she is a model from Taiwan named Heidi Yeh. She had a promising career ahead of her, as she landed great gigs one after the other.
A photoshoot for a plastic surgery office happened to be one of them, but she had no idea just how much the simple image would negatively impact her life.
The children were photoshopped into their “ugly” versions and it didn’t take long for the distorted backstory to gain traction.
Everyone from her family to her hopeful employers are now under the impression that she’s had work done.
Though there is a prevalence of eyelid surgery in East Asia to create a more doe-like expression, she denies having had the procedure done. Yeh has lost several job opportunities and even had a boyfriend break up with her thanks to the embarrassing meme’s popularity.
To hear her discuss her story in full, watch the video here.
The next time you see something floating around as fact on your Facebook feed or other social media, you might want to take a few extra steps to see what the real story is. Hopefully by clearing her name, Yeh will be able to pick up the pieces of her career, but the emotional toll will likely stay with her for years to come.