Video of 20-year-old influencer with cerebral palsy opening up about his biggest insecurity goes viral

Damien Gross, 20, is changing the influencer game by using social media to open up about his disability. (Photo: Instagram/its.damiong)
Damien Gross, 20, is changing the influencer game by using social media to open up about his disability. (Photo: Instagram/its.damiong)

Damion Gross is a 20-year-old living in Atlanta, Georgia, who only started using social media back in March. But already, he’s inspiring people from all over the world by giving a voice to those living with disabilities through his honest content — including a recent viral video where he discusses his biggest insecurity, his feet.

In a video posted to his social media accounts — including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — the Washington, D.C., native who lives with cerebral palsy, sat down in front of the camera to open up about what he’s most vulnerable about, and to put it on display in order to properly face it. Now, many of the more than 220,000 people who have viewed the short video of Gross discussing his feet are responding positively for his unprecedented transparency.

“I am really getting tired of people talking about my toes,” he tweeted alongside the video. “I can’t help that they look like this.”

In the clip, he makes mention of the fact that a lot of other people with cerebral palsy have feet that look similar to his. But, he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, that he’s always been sensitive to the criticism.

“In the videos that I post, I won’t wear any socks just because it’s like hot here in Georgia so I’m just trying to stay comfortable,” he explained. “So I’ve seen that some people were commenting on my toes and they kind of get to me just because that’s one of my biggest insecurities.”

Gross, who has aggregated tens of thousands of followers online, naturally took to his social media feeds to confront the issue, since he says his vulnerability is what allowed people to connect with him in the first place.

“I’m very transparent. I’m very authentic. I always speak my mind,” he says.

And although it’s proven fun for him to do so, he also recognizes that it’s important for him to “always keep it real” because there’s nobody else like him doing the same on social media.

“My main focus is to inspire others in my community, the disabled community, because we don’t have a lot of spokespeople out speaking about disability,” he says of his content, which has already brought him success. “Social media had never seen anybody like me before. I guess they’ve never seen somebody so confident in their body and just so confident in the stuff that can be kind of sad to certain people.”

Those responding to his latest video, however, don’t find his situation sad. Instead, they find it both inspiring and enlightening, especially when it comes to the treatment of people with disabilities and how Gross overcomes it.

“Those comments make me smile,” he says. “This could change my life and change other peoples’s lives. So that’s why I just keep going.”

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