OK so this blog post is going to be a little bit different.
I thought I would take Today's blog to discuss something which I feel very passionately about and I really think needs to be discussed more.
We live in a day and age now where everything is so easily accessible. We want to watch a TV show, gone are the days of having to wait an entire week from one episode to the next, now we just have to hit that Netflix button on the remote and we can binge watch our way through 63 hours of Game of Thrones all in just 5 days if you decide not to eat, sleep or pee. (Yes I was this obsessed)
If we want to go somewhere without having to drive ourselves, we hit the Uber app on our phones and within 3 minutes we can have someone arrive wherever we are, ready to drive us to our destination WITHOUT us needing to ask them to stop off at a cash point. IN FACT you don’t even need to take your purse out of your handbag as it will take the money from your account as you get out of the vehicle.
All of this is great, the world is now at our fingertips!
However with this new found power we seem as a society to of forgotten the responsibility that comes along with it.
With everything becoming so automated and robotic we seem to of forgotten how to communicate with people, real human beings with real feelings and emotions.
In less than 2 minutes, with a couple of clicks on a mobile phone and less than 50 characters on social media you can build someone and their self esteem up….or….you can destroy and bring their whole world crashing down around them.
As decent human beings we need to be aware of that fact and remember the age old saying our parents and grandparents taught us…”if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”
I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Although I get a nasty comment on a video or picture maybe once a week this is nothing compared to the barrage of abuse some people are subjected to.
I also consider myself lucky because for every 1 nasty online comment I see, I see 5 more uplifting and supportive comments from you incredible, kind and beautiful women.
But here are a few things I have learnt about online bullies.
There are 2 things that amaze me the most when look at the people leaving these hurtful and nasty comments.
I always presumed that online trolls and bullies were going to be very young, insecure girls that hadn’t yet got the maturity or mental capacity to realise the devastating effects their words could have on people.
This is something I have been proven wrong about time and time again.
When I look at the profiles of the people that leave nasty comments on my videos or pictures, the people that say things like. “ your teeth are disgusting”,
“Ewww Your nails aren’t done, that’s gross!”,
“why are you giving makeup advice, you are UGLY”
“This company needs to get a better looking model, No one wants to look at her disgusting skin”
When I click on the profiles of these people, to try and see who would want to be so nasty and tear someone down like that, what baffles me is that they aren’t the young immature girls I was expecting to see.
They are in fact, usually women in the late 40’s, 50’s and sometimes 60’s often with pictures of themselves with their grandchildren as their profile pictures!
This seems to hurt all the more. These women are supposed to be mothers and grand mothers with some of life’s maturity lessons already settled in, they are supposed to be maternal figures (if you go off of their pictures and posts about how much they love their family!)
These women should know better!
What blows my mind even more than this is how they justify their behaviour when confronted by other people about it.
When told what they have said is nasty and bullying, the common response is: “it’s not bullying, it’s my opinion and I am entitled to it!”
Yes KarenX, you are entitled to your own opinion, but the moment you decided to take your “opinion” out of your mind and went out of your way to make me and everyone else aware of “what you thought about me” it was no longer your opinion and became bullying!
The moment you knew hearing your “opinion” of me would be upsetting but you decided to do it anyway for absolutely no reason other than tearing down someone else on their appearance makes you feel better about yours. That’s when it became bullying.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion but this is where that age old saying comes in to play again. “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”
Something else I want to be clear on as I hear this all too often when people are discussing people being bullied online. Whether it be a singer, an actress a tv presenter, or someone doing makeup videos online.
This excuse and victim blaming is something that I really think needs addressing once and for all.
“They knew what they were getting themselves in to when they put themselves out there”
Now I know this saying has been thrown around more times than an NBA Basketball and so because of that we justified it in our own minds but let me just put it out there, this way for a minute;
What we are really saying when we say this is:
Because she loves to sing and has a great voice, she deserves to be bullied and should just put up with it.
Because she dreamed of becoming an actress as a little girl, worked hard every day at her chosen craft because it brought her so much enjoyment to play these historic drama characters and really bring the story line to life….. she needs to just deal with being called ugly and fat in every picture of her on the red carpet while she is just going to collect an award for her work.
Or in my case, because I make makeup tutorials to help women like myself that have always felt insecure about their appearance or because I take pictures with no makeup on to try and show people that we don’t need to have airbrushed pictures or “flawless skin” to be beautiful and love ourselves inside and out. Because I want to help women, I should expect to be publicly humiliated, put up with people calling me ugly and told I shouldn’t be on social media?
It's not right that people are punished for doing something they love and that we as society think that if they didn't want to be "judged" they shouldn't of gone in to that career. Again what we are saying here is they shouldn't of done the one thing they love the most in this world for fear of being judged.
Just because it’s easier to blame the person for putting themselves out there to do something they love than it is to start looking at the actions and behaviours of ourselves and others doesn’t mean it’s right.
Just because someone is in the “Public Eye” Doesn’t mean they should endure online hell or insults on a daily basis. They, like you and me are human with the same emotions and feelings as everyone else.
Suicide rates are at an all time high and to some people already going through a tough time in their life, these nasty and hurtful comments can feel like clarification the world is a horrible and cruel place.
We need to start taking note of what is happening, If you see someone leaving hateful and hurtful comments online, report their account to the social media platforms, it literally takes a click of a button. Social Media and the police need to do more but if we as humans can make sure we continuously report it. Their cyber bullying stats will rise and there will be more pressure for them to do more about it/put safeguarding in place.
Let's start the conversation with people we know, friends, daughters, sons, mothers etc. Lets start talking about this and share the message far and wide that not only is it not OK or justifiable as "Just someones opinion" It is a huge contributing factor to the rise in suicide rates and needs to be stopped.
Also, for anyone currently going through a hard time or that feels like they are struggling, please, please, please speak to someone. It's OK to not be OK. Believe me when I tell you talking helps!
Talk to your parents, your friends, your partner or even me! I am always here for anyone that needs to talk.
In a world where you can be ANYTHING! Be Kind.