Chrissy Teigen hasn’t exactly had an easy start to motherhood. From her struggles with infertility to welcoming her beautiful daughter Luna, Teigen has been incredibly open with the world about her journey — but her openness online has come with a price. Specifically, the price of seeing one of the scariest places in the world:
The comment section.
In a series of tweets, Teigen is calling out the insanity of cyber bullies on Instagram that have intensified since she became a mother and threatening to quit social media altogether:
Some of the choicest comments she may be referring to include:
“She’s so skinny hopefully with the baby she gain some weight and a**!”
“Now that you’re fat and disgusting, is John banging Megan trainor now?”
“Holy Sh*t! She looks like a cut out! Man, goes to show how fake b*tches are these days.”
“can’t teach an emotionally stunted, old dog new tricks now can we? We can just hope her kids don’t pick up on her bitterness for life and people in general”
I’m not a celebrity nor a supermodel, but I do make a living on the Internet and so, like Teigen, I’m free game for cyber bullies. I’ve had people tell me I should have aborted my daughter, that I’m the worst mother in the world, that my children would be better off without me, and that I am more vile than Hilter because I have four children and my reproductive choices are apparently endangering the entire world.
Writers, like entertainers, are told it’s “part of the job” and encouraged to ignore the comments and grow thicker skin, but you know what? No matter how much you do those things, it’s still disheartening to realize that somewhere, someone took time out of their day to personally attack you. It’s depressing to even see it, even if the comments aren’t directly related to you.
We tend to write off Internet comments as just crazy trolls, but the truth is, all that negativity really does impact us on a very real level, even in our “offline” world. The scary thing about cyberbullying is that not only does it have very real effects, such as an increase in health problems, poor attendance, and substance abuse in teens, but it’s also hard to escape and easy for a bully to access. Tweeting, leaving a comment, or blasting someone on Facebook doesn’t exactly carry the same repercussions as saying a hurtful comment to someone’s face.
And if grown adults can’t even back off from online bullying, what on earth is happening to the next generation? I worry constantly about how hard it will be for my children, whose identities will be shaped by their relationships with their peers — real and online. It’s heartbreaking to think how hard it’s going to be for them to grow up navigating this big online social world that adults haven’t even mastered yet.
Connection is something we all crave, and I know that to a large degree the connection that social media has provided to me as a stay-at-home mother has felt like a literal lifeline. But all of that connection also has a dark side, especially when it comes to the online world of motherhood. Even if the comments aren’t directed at you, all the intense negativity makes you question if mothers really are all out to hate on each other.
The point is, it’s not “silly” for Teigen to talk about cyberbullying, even when it’s happening on an Instagram page. It’s not silly when it’s happening to a supermodel and it’s not silly when it’s happening to a 17-year-old girl who goes on to commit suicide.
Bullying, even somewhere seemingly so insignificant as on an Instagram page, is not silly. And we need to do something about it.More On