That’s right isn’t it? We are all taught from a young age to be nice, if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. But, there’s a line where celebrities and other famous people are concerned isn’t there? Famous people are fair game – you’re allowed to be mean about them.
But, no, that isn’t the case.
No-one deserves abuse whether they are famous or not – we should be nice and respectful regardless of who people are and, just because they are famous does not mean that they are asking for constant negative scrutiny and ridicule.
Over recent years, with the influx of Z-list celebs, I have noticed a massive increase in people being mean. Actually, mean sounds like we’re in the school playground and we’re not. I have seen people being nasty, rude, malicious and pretty damn horrible about other people for no real reason – except they’re on the TV or in the news and somehow that makes it acceptable.
Take Gemma Collins for instance. She has spent years in the limelight and has been slated online and off whilst appearing in Dancing on Ice. Someone even said to me the other day ‘Did you see Gemma Collins fall over on the ice? You have to see it, it’s hilarious!’
But, I didn’t need to see it. If I was ice skating and someone fell over spectacularly next to me I would be concerned that they were ok. I would make sure they hadn’t hurt themselves and I would help them to the side of the ice. I wouldn’t film it and put it on YouTube for people to laugh at them forever more.
Gemma Collins though. A larger than life personality, bigger than average and with so many previous relationships paraded in the media. We’re allowed to laugh at her, poke fun of her and make comments about how she looks, aren’t we?
No, we are not.
Gemma is human just like the rest of us and she doesn’t deserve any of the personal attacks that have been said about her.
There’s a line, you see. A line where you can have an opinion as long as it isn’t a personal attack. You could say she isn’t very good at ice skating, that she doesn’t come across too well on TV or that she’s been pretty unlucky in love. Your opinions can be fact based – that she takes up too much air time, that there are other people you’d rather see on TV, that you didn’t like the dress she wore to the NTAs. That is all perfectly acceptable – we are all allowed opinions.
But, the minute you start making personal comments about how someone looks, their size, the kind of person you perceive them to be – that is when you have crossed a line. That is not ok just because they are famous.
Gemma Collins actually didn’t prompt this post. I actually stumbled across a forum online that had been created purely to slate influencers – so many big names in the industry as well as smaller bloggers who have had their moment of fame. And yes, forums like this exist – and it’s moved on quite far from the Mumsnet thread days.
There are threads in these forums aimed at specific bloggers where their whole character will be attacked and called into question. People slate the way they look, their home, their family and their relationships. They question their integrity, their morals and the things they promote. But they are vicious in the things they say.
These forums exist and they are a lake of vileness. Even just scrolling briefly before leaving I knew that they weren’t born out of anything nice or positive – they were born from the very darkest places inside people and they have bred through boredom and a pack mentality in people that lets them feed off one another. It’s so needless, such a waste of energy and just so, so wrong.
Being an influencer and seeing the amount of hate that people project onto anyone in public eye is horrendous. It’s like being in the school playground, watching other children get picked on and knowing there isn’t anything you can do about it.
But, the difference this time is that I feel like I can do something about it – even if that is just standing up and saying that this isn’t right.
I refuse to be mean about people – regardless of whether I know them in real life or see them on the TV. Seeing other people being unnecessarily nasty makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like it.
If our friends or family were being picked on and attacked about any aspect of their personality or lifestyle we would stick up for them, say that it really wasn’t cool and make change.
So this is me now. I have never understood why celebrities have been seen as fair game – and now why influencers are seen the same purely because they put their lives out there.
You are not going to like everyone. You are not going to agree with everyone. But, you don’t have to be mean about anyone. You don’t have to make personal attacks and if you don’t have anything nice to say you really can say nothing at all.
Always be nice – regardless of whether someone is in the public eye.