Real Talk: Taking a stand against Cyber Bullying

I would like to thank you, current reader, for taking the time out to read my first post on what I think will be the launch of my "Real Talk" series. For those of you who have been following my blog since it was created, will know that I originally created a beauty and lifestyle blog, and slowly in time it started to focus more towards the beauty side of things. However, due to recent events that have occurred, I decided to forego my previously scheduled beauty post that was to go live today, and to replace it with this last minute post, focusing more on a bigger issue we all may have, or will face at some point in our lives - bullying / cyber-bullying. I'm doing this mainly because I wanted to get something that has been bothering me off my chest, and to hopefully have some of you take something beneficial away from this.

It has recently come to my attention, that I was tagged in a comment on a picture posted by MAC Cosmetics on Instagram - the picture featured a photo taken during New York Fashion Week of a beautiful African American model's lips. While the focus was on the beautiful lip color featured, somehow this post quickly became controversial and caught the attention of the world wide web because of the amount of people who had commented on this picture and over how divided the comments were. There was the good, the bad, and the down right ugly and disgraceful.

As a result of the attention this picture generated, it made its way through the internet via various different articles that were published. I want to stress that I do not share the views of the comment that I was tagged in. I see the beauty in everyone, and this is why I chose to follow my dreams as a beauty blogger. I want to instill a sense of confidence and beauty in people, and help them feel their absolute best - whether that beauty is internal or external, it doesn't matter. No matter how beautiful you are, if you have an ugly heart, you are an ugly person. And so with a heavy heart I have to say that I unfortunately, have no control over other people's actions or words. This post is not meant to throw anyone under the bus, it is to serve as a gentle reminder that while what was said was not meant to be hurtful, it ultimately did hurt alot of people. You never know the ripple effect your one action can cause. So please, I do not want anymore hateful comments towards that person, to myself or even to anyone else in that picture. It's not healthy.

I am not the type of person who was raised on the principal of "an eye for an eye". Retaliation, and revenge is no way to live, and hate is a nasty thing that can down right consume you. The purpose of this post is to talk about cyber bullying, and the real effects it can have on the people that you see who own that specific social media account, or to that person who is sitting behind their computer screens. Words hurt, regardless of it being verbally said to you, or written somewhere on the internet. Trust me, I know. I still remember what the mean girls in my high school used to say to me when I was bullied in middle school. I'm not being petty when I say that I remember what they have said. I say that I remember, because it teaches me to be stronger.

I have seen some famous YouTubers recently take to their channels to address this topic of Cyber Bullying, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you on it as well. While thinking of this topic, I actually came across a very useful website - Prevnet (no this is not a sponsored post). The first sentence on their site is powerful "The Internet has no delete button. Bullying online lasts forever".

I am not saying that I am completely innocent when it comes to this topic, I think that in our daily lives, it is very easy to blur the lines, and to accidentally make a joke that may have gone too far, and/or to poke fun of something that is actually not funny at all. However, you must learn to be mindful of your actions. To learn that there are consequences far greater than what you had imagined. That your one comment, or joke, can cause a ripple effect that could ultimately negatively impact you and/or the people around you.

The simplest way to stop this, is to learn to take a step back and walk away. This is what I mean by not retaliating. It is okay for you to defend what you believe in - but when that spurs into something hateful and victimizing, it is not okay. The only thing you can do then is to stand your ground, to say what needs to be said to clear the air and get your point across, and to remove yourself from the situation and be a better person. Do not argue with someone over the internet, it's just like in any relationship, don't argue over e-mail or text messaging/IM. If you want to sort out an issue, talk it out - face to face. Clearly, this isn't possible on the internet, and if you know that you are being trolled - you can only control what happens to you, which is to remove yourself from the situation.

So next time before you decide to post something - think twice about it. Is it worth the amount of pain it'll bring you should it come to bite you in the future? If you really have to think long and hard about it, it's probably best that you shouldn't hit that "enter/submit" button.

Sorry for this long-winded post, I promise to return to the regular scheduling and beauty/lifestyle topics next week.

Until next time, XO - M.

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