I told myself that I wasn’t going to write a blog about accepting internet hate until I had a full-on, blatant troll. I get a lot of passive comments from people who don’t really understand the complexities of mental health. My political posts are subject to debates at times. For the most part, though, people have been super supportive of me and my journey to blog for a living.
Recently, an internet troll got upset when I used #thickwhitegirl on one of my body positivity posts. Of all things that I could do to upset someone online, it was a hashtag. Who knew?
At first, I was a little taken aback by the comments. What does a comment like “girl, you ain’t thick,” mean? Anyone with working eyeballs can see that the post was not made to accentuate a tiny waist or thin legs. It was about accepting compliments because you always deserve them. You shouldn’t set standards of perfection for yourself before you allow yourself to feel a little hype.
I warned the user that my page is one exclusively for love. While it’s not part of my protocol to censor what others say, they were walking a thin line between speaking their mind and triggering those that support me. So many people came to comment lovely messages about my beauty, confidence, and content. There were people that I knew and those that I did not. Followers that I had previously interacted with and ones that I gained from the experience.
Body shaming isn’t fucking cool no matter who you are, what you look like, or what you think your credentials are. I’ve been down the whole fatphobic hater train before. In my experience, it’s usually something along the lines of how I’m glorifying obesity or unhealthy lifestyles. Let me make one thing abundantly clear here: being overweight isn’t healthy. When I post my pictures, I hope that what you take from it is body positivity, confidence, and a sense of acceptance. However, my health is something that I speak to my doctor about, rather than the trolls online. I’m not glorifying unhealthy lifestyles or obesity by saying that it is okay to find beauty in figures other than hourglass. Rather, I’m saying that if you want to get healthy, give a shit about your organs, or find motivation to work out, the first step is loving the skin you are currently in.
I’ve gotten in my fair share of Facebook fights circa 2013. A healthier mindset (and maybe a few therapy sessions) will teach you that the best way to respond to hate online is just to ignore it. It’s so hard. However, bullies thrive on the reactions of their victims. If there’s no reaction, they usually end up feeling stupid. You can also channel the queen of all queens, Michelle Obama.
“When they go low, we go high”– Michelle Obama,
It’s easy to start spitting fire back. You have every ability in the world to choose confrontation in these moments. The people that we look up to, though, are the ones that can kill them with kindness even when they’re being ruthless.
Haters are always a triggering experience. They say stuff that we say in our heads when we’re having a bad day. They say it online for everyone to see. This user told me to lose 200 pounds. One, doing that would bring my weight to about that of a second grader… Two, those words aren’t just bullets shot at me. They shower down on anyone that comes across that post. That’s why I have such a problem here.
Anyone that came across the comments of that post ran the risk of being extremely anxious about their body image. It doesn’t take a diagnosed illness to see someone spewing hatred and reflect it into our own lives. However, those who struggle with body dysmorphia or eating disorders were especially at risk.
Internet trolls and real-life haters have a way of projecting their own insecurities onto others. In this case, that user probably saw that I had confidence in the photo and lacked their own. People place their discomfort in themselves through anger, sadness, aggression, and hatred. While social media is a beautiful thing because it allows people like me to spread messages like this, the other side of the coin is that it can offer anonymity to people who would never say these hurtful things to your face.
At the end of the day, I’ve been called much worse than fat, disgusting, or unhealthy. It’s not my business how those who don’t support me or my blog feel about me. None of us should take the precious time out of our days to worry about what internet trolls have to say about our bodies. Truthfully, it’s none of our business. The only business that is ours and that we have to attend to is our supporters. Those relationships are ones of value. They will continue to help us grow and thrive. Where is a hater getting you? After the whole ordeal, my friend, Max, reminded me that, “if you have haters you must be doing something right.”
If you’ve exhausted all options, my sweet, don’t be afraid to hit that block button just like I did! You don’t need that negativity in your life. Haters gonna hate, but that doesn’t mean we have to see it.
Are you dealing with online hate? Have you in the past? Let’s talk about it! Slide into the DMs on any of my social media profiles below – I’d love to hear your story!
Edited by Vanessa Reza. Contact info can be found on the “Work With Me” page!