The mystery woman once featured on the Obamacare website has decided to speak out, and she is now claiming that she was cyberbullied for her role in the Obamacare fiasco. The smiling woman who was the face of the Affordable Care Act’s website has a name, and according to ABC News, her name is Adriana.
Adriana has asked to only use her first name, and she told ABC News that she is now going to “stand up for myself and defend myself and let people know the truth.” The smiling face that once graced the homepage of the site has become the butt of many jokes, and was even dubbed as the “Obamacare Girl.”
Adriana told ABC News that she is a long way from a professional model, and that she wasn’t even paid for the photo. During the interview with Good Morning America’s Amy Robach, Adriana said she was Colombian, but her husband and son are both US citizens. While many will criticize her for her non-citizen status, she does want people to know that she has not only lived in the country for six years, but that she is currently a permanent resident applying for citizenship.
According to TIME, Adriana was bombarded by cyberbullies who associated her face with the politically divisive law. Adriana stated, “I mean, I don’t know why people should hate me because it’s just a photo. I didn’t design the website. I didn’t make it fail, so I don’t think they should have any reasons to hate me.”
During her interview with Amy Robach, Adriana said that she was shocked that her photo got dragged into all the Obamacare controversy.
“Like I said it was shocking. It was upsetting. It was sad. We were having a hard day when we read all this,” she said. “And in a way, I’m glad that my son is not old enough to understand, because you know whatever happens to you, it hurts them too.”
She didn’t want the cyberbullying to make its way to the rest of her family, just like any good mother and wife. Adriana said she wanted the photo taken down, and about two weeks ago, it was. “I don’t think anybody wanted to focus on the picture.”
Even though Adriana had asked to have her picture removed, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told ABC News that they removed the image because “Healthcare.gov is a dynamic website,” not because she requested it. They continued on to say the following in a statement:
“The individuals in the images that we used for the launch of the website redesign in June and through the beginning of open enrollment signed standard releases and understood how their images would be used,” said the HHS spokesperson. “We transitioned to new graphics because we believe they provide a better way to visually reinforce key information to users about options for applying at this point in time.”
While Adriana says she suffered from the cyberbullying as the Obamacare mystery woman, she wants people to know that it didn’t break her. According to TIME, she says that the bullies didn’t ruin her life. She still has her family, and a job; “I’m fine. Now I laugh about it.”
[Image via Fox News]