Would it surprise you to learn that 1 in 4 people have experienced some form of cyberbullying simply because of their appearance?
1 in 4 means that you’d likely know a few mates, maybe your sister or brother—perhaps even yourself—that has experienced some sort of online harassment, just for expressing themselves online.
Given that a recent study found Australian women between 14-24 spend an average of 14 hours per week on social media, and men are clocking up almost 9 hours (with 73% of them having experienced online abuse on a global scale), that’s a considerable percentage to have felt the negative effects of an ‘always on’ society.
It then begs the question, how can we make the internet a safer, more accepting place to express ourselves without fear of judgement and bullying?
Using their considerable clout, Rimmel has recently launched an international campaign with UK artist Rita Ora and supermodel Cara Delevingne fronting ‘I will not be deleted’, aiming to spark a global conversation surrounding beauty cyberbullying. With help from a number of key influencers, individual activists and A-list celebrities, the campaign’s aim is to shine a light on an issue that affects millions of women around the world.
“Last year, 115 million images were deleted from social media due to beauty cyber bullying. When we understood the scale of the problem, we felt that now was the perfect time to give it a voice–a voice that says loud and clear that it is not okay to shame someone for the choice they have made to express themselves” says Ankita Sayal, Global Digital Director at Rimmel London.
In addition to Rimmel, fashion heavyweight The Kering Foundation (parent company of Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Balenciaga et al) has launched its annual White Ribbon campaign, #IDontSpeakHater to highlight the shocking statistics of worldwide online abuse.
73% of girls and women have reported online abuse worldwide. We can't stay silent when people are attacked. Today, the #KeringFoundation launches its 7th #WhiteRibbon For Women Campaign, which combats cyberbullying. Join the #IDontSpeakHater squad and let your voice be heard! ✊ Link in bio. #WRFW2018 #KeringForWomen
The campaign is “designed to encourage the participation of Gen Z, the first generation to live so much of their lives online, to defend their peers from online harassment and support the person attacked by translating the hate into something empowering. By reformulating the insult with a positive meaning with wit or humour, it shows that it serves no purpose,” Kering states on its website for the campaign.
With enormous social media accounts of their own helping to push the ‘I Will Not Be Deleted’ and #IDontSpeakHater message, it’s the first time so many high-profile brands have come together at once to raise awareness on such a widespread issue.
With the hope that it sparks conversation, the idea is also that it will inspire widespread action and change; change in the way we use our voices for good instead of inciting hate, celebrating each other for our uniqueness and not calling out our differences.
Image credit: Rimmel London