Online bullying can take many damaging forms, and unfortunately body shaming women is one of the most common.
Just last week model Gigi Hadid was forced to hit back at Instagram users posting unflattering comments about her weight, following in the footsteps of other female stars who have chosen to speak out against trolling, including Anne Hathaway, Anna Paquin and Ashley Grahame (and that's just women from the first letter of the alphabet).
Now, model and fashion icon Tess Holliday, 31, has unfortunately been forced to join their ranks, taking a stand against Facebook after the social media giant blocked her account for posting her response to body shamers online.
A photo posted by Plus Model✖️ Mom ✖️ Feminist🌹 (@tessholliday) on
Holliday initially wanted to highlight the abuse she was receiving from an anonymous user on the shopping app Depop, so she posted a screenshot of the comments to her personal Facebook page (below). However, she soon found her profile had been blocked by Facebook.
"Someone was clearly bullying me and harassing me and saying really disgusting things but Facebook blocked my profile," she told Allure.
She also revealed that the company had previously removed images of her wearing a bikini while pregnant.
"They said it was an accident and I was like, it wasn’t an accident," she said. "You have someone at Facebook who is fat-phobic so when someone reported my photo, they thought to remove it."
After Holliday took to her Twitter account to complain that Facebook had blocked her profile, she found that it suddenly started working again.
In a statement released to Allure, a representative for Facebook said, "Our team processes millions of advertising images and millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. As soon as we were able to investigate, we approved the ad and restored the content. We're very sorry about these mistakes."
However, the incident has caused Holliday to question the responsibility of the platform. "Would this be happening to me if i wasn’t plus sized?" she asked. "If this didn't have to do with body shaming?"
Now, she hopes that changes will be made.
"If this happened to someone who isn’t as emotionally strong as me or who doesn’t have this platform, what would that outcome have been?
"There needs to be some accountability. [Facebook] has the power to set a precedent and change things and it's not happening."