Beauty expert Sali Hughes has opened up about the traumatic trolling she has faced recently. But the amount of support she has since received proves that we’ve all had enough of online bullying.
Sali Hughes is a successful beauty expert, journalist, author and broadcaster, with a loyal and growing fan base. Her first book Pretty Honest is the millennial’s ultimate beauty bible, and her third book Our Rainbow Queen is a colourful coffee table essential. Hughes’ YouTube beauty channel has nearly 55,000 subscribers, and I am personally obsessed with her In The Bathroom with Claudia Winkleman video (seriously, go and watch it).
As the woman behind the Beauty Banks initiative, Hughes also champions women’s issues and social equality. And you’ll no doubt have read her wise words in the Guardian or heard them on Radio 4.
For a specific group of people, this success is something to target hatred towards…
Hughes exposed the trolling in a powerful video statement shared on her Instagram account on Friday (27 September).
The video starts with her telling followers how she was made aware of a “bullying” website several months that targeted Instagram influencers, including Hughes. The group of women who regularly wrote on the site wanted Hughes to lose her job because they “hated” her.
“My crimes apparently varied from not accepting their Facebook requests to rejecting them from my own Facebook group for being rude to other members and to me,” Hughes says.
“They began to migrate over to my Instagram next. They were rude and vindictive, talking about my children [and] making accusations about my career that were and are not true.”
She continues: “Everything was lie upon lie upon lie to the degree that I wouldn’t know who they were discussing for the most of it, had they not constantly used my name.
“They screen grabbed every post, every article, scuttling back to their sewer to mock and belittle me. They discussed my children, criticised my parenting, mocked my marriage and made personal insults about my husband (who is the kindest and most decent person I know).”
Hughes continues: “They set about assassinating the character of a beloved colleague and friend of mine, calling her fat, ugly, boring, unqualified and unskilled – all while claiming it was me who treated her badly, when I did nothing of the sort. It has made her ill.”
“They dove deep into my family life, researching details about my mother – someone who has recently died horrifically of cancer and with whom I had a painful and extremely difficult relationship with since she left when I was a toddler.”
Hughes then explains how the trolls posted links to her family and friend’s profiles – including a friend who has died - on their own social media accounts. They also criticised her career and accused Hughes of lying about advertising and sponsorships (which she “has the receipts” for to disprove the claims).
The backlash that Hughes received after taking action on the trolls just further proves that they have no remorse for their actions. Although the beauty expert handled this privately for months, she now feels compelled to expose the trolling and continue legal action. She ends the video by referring to the “deep trauma” caused by everything that has happened.
After sharing the video on Instagram and Twitter, there has been a huge amount of support – because we have all absolutely had enough of accepting such abusive trolling.
Here are just some of the messages of support Hughes has received in her fight against the trolls:
Hughes has also shared a way that we can all help. She is calling for followers to sign a petition that will call for the closure of Tattle life – the gossip forum where they bullying started. You can sign it here.
Although Hughes was under no obligation to share her experience, we are so glad that she did in the fight against online bullying.