Women need to start teaming up, build supportive friendships, and stop seeing one another as competition.
So What’s Really Ticking The Haters Off?
“That’s the thing. Nobody really knows the motivation [behind the negative comments],” explains Retty Contreras, Cosmo.ph’s assistant beauty editor. “But I do feel that it has something to do with jealousy.”
Personally, I’ve been lucky. In the three years that I’ve been beauty blogging, my readers have been extremely kind to me and I can only remember one comment about my hair looking “dugyot” when I experimented with lighter highlights (she had a point, TBH). As much as I’d like to say it didn’t affect me, it did make me think twice about going for a lighter hair color years later (FYI, I still went for it). But what about the women who don’t work online and are august 2016 vulnerable to viscious and very personal attacks like “get a nose job,” “ang pangit mo naman,” or “brush your teeth—they look yellow” simply because they have a public Instagram account? Why are they being shamed, too? “The primary [shame] trigger for women, in terms of its power and universality, is how we look,” explains Dr. Brené Brown in Daring Greatly. Basically, when Chica #1 launches a shame attack on Chica #2’s appearance, Brown’s research shows us that she may be trying to get Chica #2 to think she’s “not good enough” or pose the question “who do you think you are?” In layman’s terms, she’strying to take Chica #2 down a notch.
Stop The Shame Spiral
Self-awareness and honesty are key here. Women need to start teaming up, build supportive friendships, and basically stop seeing one another as competition. Like it or not, #selfies and #ootds have become part of our social identity. So if someone’s feed makes you feel bad because of #FOMO, stop scrolling and hit the Unfollow button. There’s really no shame in that. Another option? Have the courage to do what it takes (read: werq) to live the life you want. It may seem simplistic, but I believe that you can transform that energy into something that motivates you. So rather than commenting, “how to be you” or “so jealous,” aim to inspire yourself by posting “goals” or “yassss” instead.
And hey, one last thing— if you happen to see a negative comment that’s way out of line, you could always speak up for your fellow woman by telling the keyboard assassin that what she’s doing isn’t cool. Just don’t take it to heart if she replies with another cutting remark. “Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer,” says Brown.