A study, conducted by cosmetics brand Rimmel, has revealed the dark side of beauty online.
A study has revealed that a staggering one in four women have experienced beauty cyberbullying, with 11% of those bullied saying that it has happened to them once a month or more.
The findings comes from a study conducted by Rimmel, which has launched a global campaign to combat beauty cyber bullying. The survey was distributed to 11,000 young women across 10 countries.
The effects of beauty cyber bullying are incredibly serious. A huge 65% of participants said it has had an impact on their confidence, with 51% of these women adding that it had stopped them from experimenting with their look or the way they dress.
Plus, 46% of young women harm themselves with drugs of alcohol, self-harm or eating issues following being bullied online about their looks
So how can we combat the online bullying epidemic that results in 115 million images being deleted each year?
Rimmel’s campaign, named #IWillNotBeDeleted, revolves around three main objectives. The first is to spark conversation, led by beauty influencers and celebrities, such as Rita Ora and Cara Delevingne.
Rimmel brand ambassador Delevingne said, “The message that I have for young people who are being affected is that you are enough! It doesn’t matter what anyone else says and you are not alone. We have to stand by each other and think twice before we comment. The problem with cyber beauty bullying is that people can write something and never have to deal with the consequences. The comments I have read are heart-breaking and its terrifying to see what words can do to someone.”
The second objective is Rimmel using its reach and platform to promote individual beauty and the third is a partnership with The Cybersmile Foundation, an anti-cyberbullying charity.
Alongside Ora and Delevingne, Rimmel has cast an inspiring group of influencers to front the campaign.
Stylist spoke to one of the campaign ambassadors, beauty influencer Tess Daly, about her experience with make-up, bullies and why this campaign is so important to her…
When did you first realise your passion for make-up?
Flashback to 2003, Blu Cantrell’s music video for Breathe and her bold eyeshadow choices. I remember always wanting to have make-up like hers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to physically do it on myself until around the age of 27. During my GCSEs, I lost use of my right hand, meaning I wasn’t able to write my own name, let alone draw on eyeliner and lipstick! Around three years ago however, I crowdfunded for a piece of equipment that I fondly call my ‘bionic arm’. It enabled me to start at square one and train myself to be able to do the majority of my own make-up again, but this time with my left hand. I now no longer use the bionic arm to create my looks, however it was the tool that gave me my creative freedom back. I can’t say that I’ve got round to copying her white eyeshadow and fuschia lipstick yet, but there’s always time…
Have online bullies ever influenced what you post online?
Yes, they make me want to annoy them even more. If they tell me something is not for me, I will go ahead and completely ignore them. For example, I’ve had people comment on things such as my ugly toes. It sounds crazy, but as a teenager I would never wear peep toe shoes as I was really embarrassed about my feet. People with SMAs toes are notoriously not very attractive, so for years I would make sure that my feet were completely covered. Now, as a mature and levelheaded, style conscious 30-year-old, I’ve come to realise that some outfits call for a peep toe shoe and nothing else will cut it. If they want to zoom in and pick apart my disabled-looking toes, so be it. They must be very bored.
How do you deal with online bullies?
It’s a case of 50% kill them with kindness, 50% sarcasm and dry humour. I’m not one to get nasty in return or start arguments, however I’m also one to just delete comments or shy away from trolls. People need to be held accountable for what they say online, so although I don’t particularly want to draw attention to the negativity, I do tend to reply in some way. The funny thing is, nine times out of 10 people end up coming round and admitting that I’m actually ‘okay’, or they delete their own comment before I even have chance. Either way, I win!
What inspired you to get behind the Rimmel Beauty Cyber Bullying campaign?
What I find most important about this campaign, is it shows just how diverse beauty bullying really is. It doesn’t just apply to one type of person, it happens to us all. Rimmel has highlighted the different ways it can affect so many people and just how widespread the problem really is. I have a lot of disabled followers that ask how I deal with hate, and how I am so confident. I wanted to share my story so that other people know they are not alone when it comes to certain issues. In my case, particularly relating to my disability.