At Illamasqua we celebrate self-expression and individuality like no other.
Our #YouAreBeauty campaign aims to raise awareness and speak out against bullying as part of our relationship with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. This November, to mark Anti-bullying month, we’ve partnered with model, Rain Dove, for her honest thoughts on being a victim of online trolling, it’s effects and her advice to those being bullied.
Have you ever been victim to trolling or online bullying?
Myself and many of my friends and followers are bullied online everyday. For me, I’ve become accustomed to it, as I’m not exactly the “normal” model look. Being hated on is just one of the things that will happen. Even recently someone hacked my twitter, changed my name to TrumpLover backseat they knew I wasn’t a big fan, and posted hundreds of pornographic links out in order to take down my reputation. I’ve learned the hard way to release work into the world and never read the comment sections, be of an open mind when reading DMs because there are as many death threats as there are naked pictures coming in, and hold out positivity and love for the fact that these people are at least talking to me. Which gives me an opportunity to talk to them too if I feel like it and create dialogue.
Unfortunately not so many people are as lucky. Several messages come in every week, to me, from others about cyber bullies and feeling afraid to walk the streets because of death threats from students and anonymous commenters. One person spoke about self-harming over the comments, and another, my team had to call the individuals school because of a potential suicide attempt.
How does it make you feel?
For me, I feel and see hope when someone speaks out against me. It’s when they aren’t saying anything and just “doing” that is the worst. Some comments in the past shook me a bit and rocked my security about my art – but usually those comments that bothered me were not about how I looked. Rather they were about why I did what I did. I eventually just stopped factoring other people’s opinions into my work if it didn’t serve me and learned to remain grateful for all feedback – even if it wasn’t intended for improvement.
The people who send me messages though, are often devastated. They can’t escape and often fear the comments are from people they know. It makes it hard for them to leave their homes, feel safe in public places, or feel like they are on a good path.
You’re on a path – you’ve been on it – they can’t derail you. They won’t derail you.
What advice would you give to people being bullied online?
I always tell people who experience online bullying to make sure they have a good offline network that knows about it. That’s key.
Don’t hide the fact that people are doing or saying this. Your offline in person real time network is what will get you through. Even if it’s your parents or teachers having someone who understands what you are reading can make sure that it’s only words and not actions.
The other key is to make your social media private status. Unfortunately the thing about having a public account is that you open yourself up to the public.
If you intend to do that because you hope your IG or blog will just “blow up” one day then the price to pay is that with mass attention to your opinions comes mass exposure to their opinions. By making your account private you can select your friends and filter better.
The final part of it is to beat them to the humor. Feel ok with laughing at yourself – there’s nothing wrong with YOU as YOU.
The fact that we even exist at all is pretty dang funny! You’re on a path – you’ve been on it – they can’t derail you. They won’t derail you.
At Illamasqua we celebrate self-expression and individuality like no other. Our #YouAreBeauty campaign aims to raise awareness and speak out against bullying as part of our relationship with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. This November, to mark Anti-bullying month, we’ve partnered with model, Rain Dove, for her honest thoughts on being a victim of online trolling, it’s effects and her advice to those being bullied.
What advice would you give to people who are bullying online, even if they don’t know they are?
Here’s what I always say to bullies online should I feel the need to respond.
Dear ‘username’, thank you for your time commenting/messaging me today. I cannot tell you how humbled and grateful I am. I know that you have given me something more valuable than anything in this existence – time. Time you will never get back. Time you can never reclaim. You’ve graciously spent that on me, risking carpal tunnel, public backlash, and the knowledge that even when you may be on your death bed wanting only a moment more with your loved ones – you have unregrettably given that time to sharing a part of your life with me. I feel it’s only fair that I give you some time too. Feel free to message if you would like to, I will happily accept any time you have to engage in a dialogue. Moderately offensive Cat memes preferred.