Toronto woman speaks out against cyberbullies on Reddit

A Toronto musician and motivational speaker born without arms says a series of derogatory comments under a photo of her on the website Reddit helps illustrate the dangers of cyberbullying.

Musician and motivational speaker born without arms finds photo mocking her online


10 years ago
Duration 3:11
A woman being cyberbullied is fighting back.

A Toronto musician and motivational speaker born without arms says a series of derogatory comments under a photo of her on the popular website Reddit has spurred her to highlight the dangers of cyberbullying.

Talli Osborne, 32, was born with no arms and is missing bones in her legs. She's less than four feet tall.

She's also a motivational speaker, volunteers for The War Amps, works in social media and is an accomplished musician.

Osborne told CBC News that because she developed a thick skin at a young age to counter the pointing and stares, she gained the strength to help others with their self-confidence.

Recently she came across a post on Reddit, after one of her Twitter followers told Osborne a photo of her had been posted.

She says it was a personal photo taken from one of her Facebook albums that shows her with a box containing the sound-activated electrical switch known as The Clapper.

The Reddit poster put the photo up about two months ago in the section "WTF" with the header, "The Perfect Gift."

About 250 people have commented on the photo, many of them joking about her lack of limbs.

Said Osborne: "I am a very confident woman and I love who I am and I wouldn't change anything about me — a lot of other people in [a] similar circumstance, that could destroy them."

'I am a very confident woman and I love who I am and I wouldn't change anything about me.'— Talli Osborne, musician and motivational speaker

Other commenters posted that they know her, speaking highly of her and her connection to the music scene.

Osborne has asked Reddit to take the photo down, but has received no response.

She said she wants to raise awareness about the impacts of cyberbullying.

"Do not judge a book by its cover," she said. "Just because you see somebody doesn't mean you know their story."

Osborne believes websites that serve as platforms for bullying should have to face consequences, and those making the comments need to be educated about how it impacts others.