As we’re all well aware at this point, we live in the digital age; the age where our days are dominated by all things social media. In fact, it often seems that almost every aspect of our lives has to be publicly documented in the form of photographs or written posts.
And while it can be pretty cool to share everything we’ve been up to in our day-to-day lives with our friends, family, and peers, it also has its many downsides.
One such downside is that the increase in social media use has directly led to a rise in body-shaming. In fact, these days, body-shaming by trolls has essentially become an online epidemic.
Learn how best to deal with online trolls:
Trolls and keyboard warriors from all over the world prey on those who are open enough to publicly share certain aspects of their lives. They insist on hurting people while hiding behind their computer screens to do just that.
And that’s exactly what one young woman, Talia Gargan from Lancaster, England had to contend with.
When Talia Gargan posted a bikini snap on her Snapchat, she was confronted with a troll who seemed intent on insulting her and accusing her of being a ‘catfish’ (someone who adopts a false persona online).
The body-shamer told the young woman she had a “bit of a belly” and then went on to say “really glad you uploaded this btw, would’ve been annoying meeting wasting time to be catfished”.
Talia, being the strong, thick-skinned woman that she is, absolutely refused to let this person bring her down for something as superficial as her appearance.
Watch one as one man tracks down a notorious internet troll:
So she shot back and told the troll that she “wasn’t made to impress” them and, in fact, shared the entire response on her Twitter.
Pretty much everyone who saw the post agreed that she looked incredible in spite of what the hater had to say.
Here it is in full:
“No wonder you’re f*ckin single hun hahaha sorry I’m not a size 6. I wasn’t made to impress you or all people, you ain’t nothing special, looks don’t mean sh*t when you’re a nasty pr*ck tryna put others down.
“Now you’ve gone out of your way adter I blocked you on snap to comment on my body yet again, you must have an exciting life. Now p*ss off n carry on taking sh*t selfies of ya self hun bye ps wouldn’t of met you anyway ya t*sser.”
Unsurprisingly, Talia’s sassy response to the body shamer was met with a great deal of support and encouragement from her fellow Twitter users.
Unfortunately, with billions of internet users worldwide, this sort of behavior goes on every single day. And that means Talia certainly isn’t the only person to have her appearance slated on social media for no good reason.
Body positivity activist Carmen Smith has had to put up with all kinds of nasty remarks from complete strangers after developing lymphedema as a child – a condition which causes her legs, ankles, and feet to swell.
It took years of insecurities and internalized shame before the California native was able to come to terms with her condition. While she used to insist on hiding her limbs, the young woman now regularly poses in lingerie in order to encourage other women to embrace their “flaws”.
In an interview with Barcroft TV, she advised other women to “be what you wanna be, [don’t be] stuck in this weird box society wants to keep us in.”
“Our differences make us beautiful. I always tell my followers on Instagram to embrace their bodies at every step of our journey,” she continued.
Carmen was only three years old when her mother noticed that parts of her body were swollen to an extreme degree.
“My mom tells me I was about three when she noticed that something was going on. I was complaining a lot that my feet hurt,” the 30-year-old revealed. “She took me to the doctor and they diagnosed me with lymphedema, stating that most likely I was born without some of my lymph nodes.”
Carmen would never have guessed that years later, she would develop a sizable online following where she would post very revealing photos of herself. Here are some of her sauciest snaps:
Lymphedema affects up to 10 million people in the United States and as Carmen states: “your lymph nodes and your lymphatic system are supposed to be moving fluids through your body”. In her particular case, however, there was a blockage in her legs which accounts for the chronic “swelling and discomfort” she began to experience.
All I can say is thank god for people like Talia and Carmen who refuse to let the haters get them down. It’s a lesson we could all benefit from learning.