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Chrissy Teigen just summed up the emotional toll of internet trolling

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Kayleigh Dray
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Chrissy Teigen

“So many of you are little thieves of joy,” writes Chrissy Teigen.

We can usually always rely on Chrissy Teigen to find and tweet about the funny side of everything – even something as worrying as a coronavirus test.

When it comes to internet trolling, though, it seems the model, TV personality and author has taken the opportunity to highlight the serious side of things. Which is absolutely fair: the internet should, after all, be a place for people to share ideas and communicate with one another safely.

Trolls, however, have created a climate that causes more pain, and makes it unsafe to lead with vulnerability or stand out. 

And Teigen isn’t standing for it any longer.

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“So many of you are little thieves of joy,” Teigen tweeted. “You police what makes people happy until they don’t wanna share anymore.”

“You do it to me, and I should be happy and successful enough to not have it bother me, and it does. Imagine what you do to anyone else.”

Teigen finished: “Honestly, [though,] I’ll take it if it stops you from doing it to someone not as happy.

“Because that is crazy sad to do to someone.”

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As if to prove Teigen’s point, one such “thief of joy” has since surfaced to criticise Teigen’s culinary skills. Which, considering she’s written and published two cookbooks (and set up her own cooking website, Cravings), takes some serious balls.

“My god people are so delicate. I posted too much oil and the crab cake is overworked, won’t be fluffy to @chrissyteigen,” the troll in question wrote.

“Didn’t insult her, didn’t call her names, no ridicule at all. Just facts. And she lost her shit. But I guess a model knows more than a chef of 30 years.”

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Chrissy Teigen has branded trolls “little thieves of joy.”

Unwilling to let this slide, Teigen replied: “I literally, literally said nothing to you. What the fuck are you talking about?”

She added: “Imagine just feeding your family, people you love. Kids especially. They don’t, and actually I don’t, like huge chunks of crab in my crab cake. I like it to be a ton of crab, but not lumps.

“I also like crackers in it! Gasp. I do. So I made it… the way… (get ready)… I wanted it.”

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Teigen, in her Twitter thread, went on to note that trolls seek and crave “attention” – and she is absolutely correct on that front.

Indeed, as Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari previously explained to Stylist: “A troll’s comments often spark attention from others, so it can give the illusion of being important. And this sense of importance and centre of attention usually compensates for how they really feel in their life. That’s why they tend to focus their efforts where they will go most noticed – by lashing out at high-profile people.”

With this in mind, then, Ben-Ari advises that the best way to deal with trolls is by refusing to get angry, frustrated or uncomfortable (at least publicly).

“You should absolutely ignore them,” says Ben-Ari, “as any reaction will give them their needed attention or pleasure. But don’t suffer in silence: contact the site manager and let them know you’re being bullied. They can report, monitor extreme reactions, or force identification for comments.”

You can find out more about the psychology of internet trolling here.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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