A 24-year-old mom has clapped back at trolls who left cruel comments about her 4-month-old son’s hairy body. She also attributed his excessive body hair production to a rare health condition.
Falling prey to online trolls could be nerve-wracking for anyone, much less a 4-month-old. Sadly, Baby Mateo Hernandez had a taste of the dilemma before he was old enough to defend himself.
Born with a rare condition, Congenital Hyperinsulinism, Mateo was forced to turn to medications to control it. The ailment, which was diagnosed at one month old, made the baby experience unusually high levels of insulin, leaving him with dangerously low blood sugar levels.
Gladly, the life-saving medication was able to improve his condition within two weeks of getting on them. However, the side effect was a spike in his hair growth, with long dark body hair covering all his body except his stomach. His mom, Bri Shelby, explained:
“After a couple of weeks of being on the medication, his body started changing — he got really big and started growing lots of hair on his head and body.”
Mateo’s parents, Shelby and Jared Hernandez admitted that doctors warned them about the side effects before embracing the medication, but they never expected so much hair.
At first, they were worried by the unsightly appearance, but the doctors reassured them the 4-month-old would eventually outgrow his ailment and quit the pills.
After that, the hairs are expected to fall off naturally. However, given the rarity of the disease, experts were not certain about how long that would take. Meanwhile, they have come to accept their beautiful baby’s uniqueness, even taking out time to groom his rich coating daily.
Sadly, most strangers and netizens are not so receptive to the child’s appearance, with some turning to trolling. While most simply make remarks about how much hair the baby has, others go as far as asking the proud mom to get rid of her baby. Shelby recalled:
“[I] get some negative comments saying ‘throw the whole baby away’ or telling me to wax him, but I don’t care. All that matters is my baby is healthy.”
The mom admittedly spends most of her day explaining her baby’s condition to random strangers and netizens to abate the awkward stares and cruel remarks.
Notwithstanding, she was content having Mateo by her side, healthy and alive, even if it meant him looking so hairy forever. Hitting back at those labeling her son with vulgarities like “gorilla baby,” the mom said:
“The medication saved his life and I’d rather him be hairy and healthy than sick.”
These days, the parent’s worries are mostly centered on whether or not to shave parts of the baby’s body, even though the doctors advised against doing so. Shelby shared a video showing her son’s hairy feet on TikTok, along with the screen caption: “Do you all like to shave or like natural? Comment below?”
The post attracted more cruel comments from internet trolls. While some described the baby as a “gorilla,” others tagged him a little werewolf or a grown man in disguise. One TikToker trolled: “That’s not a baby, that’s a werewolf.”
Another agreed, adding that babies born during the pandemic always came out weird. Some netizens tagged Mateo as a baby monkey, among other cruel terms.
One TikToker sprang to Mateo’s defense, urging Shelby to ignore the cruel comments, as the child was beautiful in his own way. The comment read: “Ignore these hate comments. He is just gorgeous the way he is. They must be a very low person to comment that! #Strong_Mama.”
Many users advised Shelby not to shave the baby’s hair as it was a gift from God, with some trying to lift her burden by sharing their own experience with hairy babies. One commented: “My daughter had this. But it did fall out before she was a year old. He’s adorable the way he is.”
Others believed shaving the hair would have a negative effect on the baby’s delicate skin. Meanwhile, several users admired the baby’s hairy nature, pointing out a handful of advantages of the natural coating, including keeping him warm.