Famous faces lend their platform to a charity campaign against cyber bullying
Growing up can certainly have its tough moments for everyone. But when children are faced with bullying at school or online, difficulty can turn to trauma.
The rise of cyber bullying has redefined the experience of many young people growing up today in a way that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. As these new digital threats evolve, the charity sector’s response must evolve with them.
Being the target of repeat aggression can have lasting effects. Identifying supportive peers and adults that can help children cope and put a stop to abuse.
November 20th was International Stand up to Bullying Day, a day of awareness that encourages students to pledge both to stand up to those who bully others and to not participate in bullying themselves. To help show their support, pledges wear pink shirts for the cause, thus identifying themselves as a safe person to talk to and someone who won’t tolerate harassment.
Positive role models can help bullied children by modelling confidence and conflict resolution skills that can help them handle difficult social situations. A number of celebrities have taken a visible stance on cyberbullying on their online accounts. These five celebs have gone above and beyond to let it be known they have no time for a bully:
Having dealt with her fair share of haters during her lengthy career, Selena Gomez is no stranger to the viciousness of online bullying. She’s been harassed about her relationships, her weight, and her musical abilities, shouldering all of this while also managing Lupus, a serious health condition.
While she’s established boundaries to protect her mental health, like occasional social media breaks, she’s also proven she’ll come out in full force to defend her fans against cyberbullying.
Actress and activist Jameela Jamil is a strong advocate for body positivity, and a significant part of her online platform includes shutting down body shaming and targeting harmful and deceitful business practises related to weight loss. This tremendous effort comes despite her own struggle with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, among other chronic health conditions.
Jamil has been the focus of harassment surrounding her conditions, with some naysayers claiming she must be exaggerating or lying about her health. She’s also suffered cyberbullying over her own weight, which has been affected by both her chronic conditions and eating disorders in the past.
From her humble teenage beginnings to her current international superstardom, Taylor Swift has always carried herself with humble grace. Despite this, she’s long been the target of bullying and harassment over her relationships, friendships, career, and more recently, her political stance. Through this stress, she’s held her head high, stayed true to her character, and continued to enjoy success as an artist, writer, and composer.
Though Swift has rarely deigned to respond to her bullies, she remarked on years of criticism leveraged against her in an Elle essay she wrote commemorating her 30th birthday in 2019. In it, she notes that bullies often "want to be feared and taken seriously" and that sometimes laughing at petty bullying is all that’s needed to disarm it. She also remarks that while it would be nice to receive an apology from those who bully, "the satisfaction of knowing I could survive it, and thrive in spite of it" is also something worthwhile.
If you or someone you know is currently dealing with cyberbullying, here are a few tips for coping with and putting an end to the situation.
Cyber bullying and online harassment are a major issue in the charity sector. Many people publicly promoting good causes face abuse at the hands of online trolls.
Last year, Charity Digital participated in an anti-harassment and trolling roundtable. We dug into the issues underpinning harassment in the sector and profiled organisations working to make a positive change.