Have you ever had someone say something offensive to you online? If you have, you know the kind of pain it can cause. You tell yourself you shouldn't take it personally, but it's hard not to internalize it, at least a little. Influencers know this struggle better than anyone, and they've launched a clever new way to stand up to the trolls who try to knock them down.
These women are taking the hateful comments left on their photos and owning them, putting them front and center for the world to see. They're writing them on their bodies, pasting them over their images, and ultimately refusing to be defined by labels others try to put on them.
"Fat," "gross," "yuck," and "pig" are some of the comments Amber Dawn got on a recent photo she posted rocking a bikini. Instead of shying away from the bullies who wrote them, she decided to post another bikini photo, but this time she would write those comments on the photo itself. Her message: I'm not afraid of your words.
The best part is, she reported their original comments and got them kicked off Instagram. "Just a few of the delightful comments from trolls on my last bikini post that have since been reported and their accounts deactivated by Instagram," she wrote in her caption.
Dawn isn't the only one to stand up to trolls by using their own words against them. Sarah Nicole wrote comments like "disgusting," "old news," "pathetic," and "only wants men's attention" on top of a photo of her in leggings and a sports bra. But if you scroll to the right, you'll see she posted another photo. It says "genuine," "unashamed," "strong," and other descriptive word that reveal who she really is.
"Let this be a reminder for us all: we are not the words we are labeled by," she wrote in her caption. "We are the truths we walk in, know, and carry in our hearts. Nobody can take that from you, nobody can rewrite them no matter how much they try."
Influencer Carly Rowena created her own take on the trend. Instead of writing some of the hurtful comments she's received over a photo of herself, she wrote them on her actual body with bold black marker. She posted a video of herself in her bra and underwear writing the words on her skin and then washing them off.
"The comments above are just a few of the comments, DMS, and emails that have never left my mind, luckily I have the most supportive online community and the negative only accounts for 0.01% but funnily enough those are the words that stick," Rowena wrote. "Let’s make each other strong by showing the bullies [sic] it’s just water off our backs!"
At the end of Rowena's video, after she erased all of the negative comments from her body, she wrote something else on her skin: I love me. That's what all of these women are trying to say. They love themselves, despite all of the negativity that's thrown at them, and you should too. No, it's not always easy, but if we band together and put the haters in their place, positivity will always win.
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