Young Boy Was Mocked for His Pink Hair -- So a Local Officer Got Kelly Osbourne to Cheer Him Up

kelly osbourne and boy with pink hair
Courtney Shelsy/Facebook; Splash News
If your stock of faith in humanity has depleted, prepare for it to fill right back up. On July 6, Courtney Shelsy of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, shared a story about her 8-year-old brother Jacob that moved an entire community. 

  • Along with this photo, Shelsy shared that her younger brother was openly mocked by a grown man for having pink hair.

    The brother-sister-duo went to a nearby auto shop after getting Jacob's hair done when the man servicing them began teasing Jacob. Shelsy wrote on Facebook:

    "After my car was done, all the man had to do was ask for my payment and return my keys. But instead he turned to Jacob and rubbed his newly pink dyed hair and told him that wasn't okay, that's what girls do and he guesses 'some types of guys' (with a noticeable eye roll). I quickly handed him the money and grabbed Jacob's arm to head to the car. But instead of letting us leave he followed us outside and proceeded to yell 'bye Mary!' 'Have a great day Mary!' at Jacob."

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  • The kicker? Jacob dyed his hair pink not just for the badass color, but for breast cancer awareness.

    And though he told his big sister it was "okay" because "a lot of people say that stuff," Shelsy was heartbroken her brother was treated so rudely. 

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  • That's when a literal local hero, Officer Darren Derby, stepped in.

    "I am a fan of the underdog," he tells CafeMom. "Anyone who society in general dismisses or brushes off because of their appearance, mental illness, behavior, etc. I was bullied as a child and grew up having a mother with severe mental illnesses. Jacob was picked on because of how he looked and that's NOT okay with me."

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  • Derby tells CafeMom he reached out to his friend Phil Sullivan of America's Next Top Model, who happens to live in Derby's town, and asked him:

    officer darren derby
    Officer Darren Derby/ Facebook

    "Who do you know that has pink hair and is influential that can give Jacob some positive encouragement about not letting others deter him from being who he is as a person?"

  • Sullivan called his pal Kelly Osbourne, who dropped "everything" on a Friday night to do a video call with Jacob.

    Osbourne applauded Jacob for being so brave and staying true to himself, and commiserated with him about being bullied.

    "You're a free spirit," she told the boy via Skype. "And people are afraid of what they don't know. And because most people don't know how to be a free spirit, they're not going to be nice. So you always need to stay true to you."  

  • After 17 years in law enforcement, Derby decided to change the way he policed after incidents like Ferguson and began hyper-focusing on the community.

    "I started out small getting out of the cruiser and talking with kids and others who turned away as we would drive by," he says. "I forced a conversation and started building relationships the old way. I have snacks, basketballs, juices, toys, and anything else I can get donated in my cruiser almost all the time."

    Which ultimately meant helping out kids like Jacob. 

    "It all falls down to a simple lesson that some many of us have been through: 'Don't judge a book by its cover.' People need to stop judging others on their looks, especially a grown man confronting a child. Words DO hurt, no matter how old you are."

  • So here's to an officer who cares, a celebrity who's humbled, and most of all a little boy who isn't afraid to be himself.

    The world really isn't such a terrible place.