parenting babble

Alleged KFC Hoax Grandma: Villain or Modern Day Hero?

Let’s talk about Kelly Mullins. Name not ringing a bell? How about “Grandmother Behind KFC Scarred Girl Hoax?” The fact that there’s a good chance you now know exactly whom I’m talking about highlights part of the problem here. If she were just “Grandmother of Girl Mauled by Pitbulls,” I doubt she — or her granddaughter, for that matter — would be attracting your attention … or mine. Mullins has been roundly lambasted for allegedly deceiving the media and bilking the general public out of their hard-earned money. Last month, a Facebook post revealed a shocking accusation made by Mullins: that a Mississippi KFC franchise kicked out her granddaughter, 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher, because her appearance was disturbing other customers. The girl had recently been attacked by pitbulls, lost an eye in the attack and suffered heavy scarring to her face. KFC has since stated that an internal investigation showed the incident never happened. In a bygone era, a community newspaper might have picked up on Victoria’s story. Maybe Victoria would have attended these events and gotten a kick out of seeing people, real flesh-and-blood people, showing her support and love. Instead, Victoria’s family took to Facebook … and why not? Ask yourself how often you read your local paper versus how much time you spend on the Internet and you have your answer. But social media can be a hit or miss. The “Victoria’s Victories” Facebook page — since removed — had just 250 followers before the KFC allegation was posted. The donations poured in. There is so much need and so much tragedy across the Internet but a classic David and Goliath story has a far better chance of standing out amid the “please help” calls to action. The smaller the David, the bigger the Goliath, the better. Little Victoria versus big bad KFC played into the paradigm perfectly. Cue the outrage. Now put yourself in Kelly Mullins’ shoes. Because if Mullins had never allegedly concocted the KFC story, if it had never been posted for the smartphone-wielding masses to see, it’s doubtful that Victoria’s family would have $30,000 — and if the GoFundMe donations hold, tens of thousands more — at their disposal for the little girl’s treatment. Same goes for the plastic surgeon’s offer of free care. Maybe Victoria’s beautiful, bandaged face would have ultimately attracted enough attention to bolster her page’s following and garner donations, offers of help, etc. But it would have taken much longer, perhaps months or even years — what parent or grandparent, seeing a suffering child, would want to wait that long? I’m sure that Kelly Mullins couldn’t imagine how far and effectively the story would spread. Don’t miss a post! Follow Alice on Twitter and as “Mildly Inappropriate Mommy” on Facebook.

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