Trolling is ugly: Showing body shamers how their idea of beauty can be a way to body positivity
With so much hate circulating on social media, body positivity is the need of the hour.
Cybersmile and London-based creative agency adam&eveDDB created a campaign for several months - aiming to promote self-acceptance and body positivity while raising awareness of online abuse.
The campaign was teamed up with London-based body confidence campaigner and social media influencer, Chessie King. The primary objective of the campaign was to highlight the damaging effect digital abuse can have on young people.
As a part of the campaign, Chessie handed her Instagram account over to Cybersmile to show the kind of comments she received in response to the release of new images she had made. Supported by a team of digital experts at adam&eveDDB, Chessie released a series of photos and videos of herself onto her Instagram Story – and the content was altered in real-time in response to each negative comment she received from online trolls.
If someone commented that she looked overweight, her picture was made to look thinner in a totally unrealistic way. By the end of the day, Chessie’s images were morphed and became a reflection of what the trolls thought a perfect woman should look like.
“Body image is a huge issue for many people. We hope this campaign helps people to understand that other people’s judgments do not define them and also encourages them to celebrate their individuality,” Dan Raisbeck, Co-Founder, The Cybersmile Foundation stated.
The entire campaign series will remain featured on Chessie’s Instagram Story Highlights for one month, and the final before and after images will remain on Chessie’s Instagram grid permanently.
The images show the transformation her appearance has gone through because of the negative comments – ultimately turning her into someone completely different, and taking away her natural beauty. “I’m working with Cybersmile as this campaign is spreading such an important message," she said.
"Trolling can affect anyone, from a 16-year-old who has 100 followers to a celebrity who has over 1 million followers and these can have extreme consequences. I have been through an exceptional amount of trolling these past 6 months since I’ve opened up more about my life on my Instagram platform and this has attracted such negativity from trolls and haters. Trolling is such an important issue to tackle,” Chessie King explained.
"The statistics surrounding the effects of cyberbullying, particularly on young women, are shocking," said Tammy Einav, joint CEO, adam&eveDDB. "It’s been truly inspiring working with Chessie and Cybersmile; both of whom are doing brilliant things by speaking out and lending their voices to such an important and pertinent cause," he added.
Since the campaign was launched, Chessie has received thousands of comments on her videos and new morphed images - already reaching over 480,000 people in the first 24 hours. Her participation in the campaign has helped many people understand the power their comments can have - both good and bad.