The Internet recently went abuzz when a video of a 9-year-old boy, Quaden Bayles surfaced on social media. This boy was born with achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that leads to dwarfism. The video was filmed by his mother who shared her pain as she revealed the effects of extreme bullying on her son. He was crying, burying his head in the car seat, saying he wished to die. The video then went viral, and most people sympathized with him. Many celebrities also spoke up against bullying, and a huge amount was raised for Quaden’s support through GoFundMe. But one portion came out with the accusation that the ‘child’ is, in fact, an 18-year-old actor. And they shared ‘proof’ for their claim too. So what is true and what isn’t? Let’s talk about it. Keep reading.
The viral video that garnered immense support
In the video, Quaden Bayles looked distraught and disturbed as he cried to his mom about how he gets bullied at school. He looks helpless, agitated, and extremely depressed as he asks his mother for a knife to stab himself with. Crying uncontrollably, he repeatedly says he wishes to die. His mother, Yarraka Bayles also shares her pain with a prominent ache in her voice as she confronts the world.
“This is the effect bullying has. This is what bullying does.”
Soon, there was an outpour of support and love for Quaden as tens of thousands spoke up for him. Even celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Nicki Minaj shared their support for him. A GoFundMe organized by US comedian Brad Williams, who also lives with dwarfism, raised over $440,000 for a trip to Disneyland to make little Quaden happy.
But is he actually as young as 9 years old? Some people say it’s not the case.
Quaden Bayles is 18 years old?!
If you’ve been updated with this news, you have heard this chunk of news already. According to some people, word has spread that Quaden is not 9 years old and this was all a scheme to make money. Was it really a scam?
Well, the supporting evidence for them was a photograph of Quaden looking dressed up all ‘gangsta style’ standing next to the number 18. This was seen in his public account now made private. Other pictures of the boy in ‘adult’ poses also fuelled in this claim.
— txtxLiz (@lizztxtx) February 21, 2020
He’s an actor and (now former) Instagram influencer you nonce. Nothing against the #QuadenBayles but his parents have orchestrated one of the slickest heists in history.
Now he’s gone Private to avoid people seeing how much wealth they’re rolling in.
The video was a performance pic.twitter.com/XpidgFwHD5
— ⛏ Rusty Ole Spaddo. ⚒ (@SpadeOfGlory) February 22, 2020
So, what’s the truth?
It turns out that the kid is not 18 years old, he actually is 9. We can share why. Firstly, someone following his mother Yarraka Bayles on Instagram shared a screenshot from 2019. Here, she was seen celebrating the 9th birthday of son Quaden Bayles.
— Niko Exxtra (@NikoExxtra) February 21, 2020
Secondly, his mother runs an advocacy group for the support of Dwarfism and has the Facebook page Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism for the cause.
She also shared an Instagram Live where rapper Cardi B also vouched for the truth and talks some sense.
I really don’t think that he’s lying on his age. And just because there’s video of him flossing money and acting all gangster and acting all cool, it doesn’t mean that kids do not pick on him.
Marianna Lopez Oritz, a family friend also wrote a post on Facebook which said:
Ima say this once and that’s that.. I’ve known about Quaden since before this s**t blew up. Yes, he’s 9! Dwarfism is not a joke.
She further added:
“Is he a model or actor? S**t, so are a lot of kids… That doesn’t mean s**t! All the money in the world cant change a disability or the pain that comes from it.
“His mother made the post because she was overwhelmed and enraged with the bullying. I understand her to the fullest.”
Yarraka has continued to share a series of photos from Quaden Bayles’ childhood to prove that they were not lying about his age. In 2012, she had shared pictures of her infant son on the beach. Here, he was 15 months old.
If they really were lying, Quaden Bayles would be 11 years old back then.
So the truth is that people are making up rumors about him being 18 years old. In a world where this is already so much unjust and cruelty, it’s best if we all believe in the mother and her bullied child.
If you or someone you know is going through anxiety, distress, depression or thoughts of harming yourself, please call National Suicide Prevention Helpline.