As part of a campaign by Rimmel, Tess Daly, 29, tells how she has received hateful comments linked to her disability, and said that online abuse had influenced the way she posted online. She features in Rimmel’s emotive #IWILLNOTBEDELETED short film released to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week, featuring young people who have experienced beauty cyberbullying. In it, Tess, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 and uses a motorised wheelchair, says: “I put my make-up on, nothing holds me back. There’s power in my brush, that’s my weapon of attack.”
Rimmel global brand ambassadors Rita Ora and Cara Delevingne also share their own stories of receiving online abuse, and take part in a behind-the-scenes video, highlighting that 115 million images are deleted each year because of beauty cyberbullying. “This campaign is one of the most important campaigns I’ve been a part of,” says Rita Ora, while Cara Delevingne has a message for those who troll people online because of the way they look: “If you’re going to say anything, treat them as you would yourself, which should be with love and kindness.”
Describing the abuse she has received linked to her disability, Tess says: “I’ve had people comment on things like my footwear because my feet have never been walked on and I don’t have particularly nice-looking feet. So when trolls attack my feet and my toes, it doesn’t make me want to cover them up, it makes me think ‘you’re actually staring at my toes!’ It doesn’t make me shy away, it makes me think wow, you are bored.”
Collaborating with the Cybersmile Foundation, Rimmel commissioned research across 10 countries, talking to more than 11,000 young women aged 16-25. It finds that the selfie is a major source of self-expression, with 87 per cent of young women having posted an image of themselves and 38 per cent doing so regularly, and one in four reporting that they had been beauty cyberbullied. It also found that 54 per cent of young women have bullying on their mind when getting ready to go out or when posting something online.
Rimmel says: “Our role beyond our products is to broaden the definition of beauty and inspire others to be genuine with their look because their beauty is what makes them unique. As a brand we are against narrow definitions of beauty, people being shamed, judged and criticised because of their looks. This behaviour manifests itself widely today in the form of beauty cyberbullying.”
See the #IWILLNOTBEDELETED Rimmel film on Youtube.