Odd One Out: trolls should be banned from social media
With social media becoming more prominent in our daily lives, the public eye and comments on celebrities’ private lives and appearances are inescapable. Little Mix is one of the most famous girl-bands around, and member Jesy Nelson explains the harrowing effect of social media trolling in her record-breaking BBC Documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out.
I remember being a young teen watching Little Mix on The X Factor and loving their outfits, wishing I looked like them. I thought they had this amazing celebrity lifestyle after winning the show. I‘d always heard Jesy being labelled ‘the fat one in Little Mix’ but hadn’t known the extent of her being trolled until watching the programme.
Trolling is an issue that attacks both men and women, and celebrities and non-celebrities alike; an issue that needs to be advocated against more. As Jesy explains after attending a social media class alongside secondary school students, one of the main topics trolls target is someone’s appearance. Why is body-shaming still occurring in 2019? For Jesy, most trolls attacked her body, something that I myself have experienced before and agree with Jesy that trolling needs to be prevented.
I’ve never understood why anyone feels the need to body shame a person on social media, especially if you don’t know them. If it isn’t jarring enough comparing yourself to images of the ‘perfect bod’ on social media (which may or may not be airbrushed), the last thing anyone needs is someone else attacking your appearance.
Trolling led Jesy to attempt suicide in 2013, and many people were quick to blame reality TV, as was the case with the deaths of Love Island’s Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis. However, despite understanding that a transition into the limelight will be hard on any person, I believe the trolls themselves are the true cause. Look at this year’s Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague, who’s had counselling due to trolls on social media.
People need to recognise the power of words and that shaming someone’s appearance speaks volumes, leaving long-term effects; Jesy advocates this in the documentary by explaining the trolling she endured and how it affected her. She felt insecure about everything, even her singing voice. Her boyfriend Chris Hughes told the camera that she couldn’t face him without wearing makeup or doing her hair, and whenever he tries to compliment her in the documentary she laughs it off.
While sharing her harrowing experiences in Odd One Out, Jesy also explains how she overcame the trolls by seeing a body-therapist, advocating that victims of cyber-bullying should seek help through professionals, and friends and family. In recent years, Jesy has lost weight and adopted the pop-star image; it’s hard to imagine why she can’t realise that she was amazing the way she was. She even starved herself for a week before an X-Factor performance – only to be trolled by Katie Hopkins the next morning.
Due to trolling and seeing heavily edited pictures online, so many women suffer from eating disorders, and it’s not just ordinary people who feel this way. Jesy’s mum thought that making the documentary was a bad idea; however, not only has it helped Jesy move on but has made her as an inspiration to young women who dislike their appearances and are victims of cyber-bullying. People are even saying it should be shown in schools. Her documentary promotes self-love, while also showing the bullies that what they’re doing has huge consequences.
You can watch Odd One Out here.
Image: @jesynelson on Instagram