Saying NO to Online Hate

Closet Confessions Cyber Bullying Rachel Hills CosmopolitanBullying was a a big part of my teeage life that I like to hide at the back of my mind, so that I don’t have to ever go through the pain it caused me again. Bullying affected my confidence, my self esteem and at times, my mental health was a serious concern. Many people don’t know I was bullied, they don’t know that I struggled to get out of bed every morning. Hell, the bullies didn’t know. I kept it well hidden, putting on a new mask in the morning, pulling on my school uniform and heading out the door. The introduction to social communication on the internet ment I wasn’t hidden by the safety of my home. I was exposed to hate all the time. Be it for my size, my talents, for anything that people wanted to tease me about.

Cyber bullying, any type of bullying is wrong. It is the lowest form of communication, to throw insults, to assault a person, be it verbally or physically. To put them in a position where they feel at their lowest. Bulliest are irresponsible, obnoxious people. They have no manners, no respect, they don’t have decency and they sure don’t care about how the other person feels. They are low, disgusting and I have no emotional connection to the boys who bullied me through high school. If I can confess here, that I take a HUGE slap of enthusiasm when I see where they are taking their lives. It’s a wake up call to me, a slap on the face, that my life is fabulous and all they’re doing are wasting it using drugs and women. It’s fabulous because I can look at my life, look at what I’ve done and what I’m doing when they can’t get a job, won’t go to TAFE, live on Centrelink payments. Where did insults get you? Lost a job? Beat your girlfriend? Gone to jail? Shame, really.

I put my confidence to a supportive school staff, a supportive family and a school advisor. I put my success to a school principal that recognised my talents and pushed me int he right direction. I thank her every day, when I go to university instead of becoming a hair dresser. I love that fact that I’m a stronger, powerful, amazing woman and that I can walk out of my front door, not in fear like I did when I was 14, but as a powerhouse with dreams and aspirations.

UK based writer and journalist Rachel Hills sent out the call for women who had been faced with cyber hate. I knew I had something to say, I wanted to share my story with her and hopefully, help her find out more of the hate that goes untold on the internet. When I started blogging, I had someone contact me on Twitter. I remember logging on, in a great mood and just feeling ym stomach flop when I saw the comment. I’m trying to get things for free? I’m trying to become famous? At first laughed it off. But it kept on bugging me. It was as if the person was in the same room as me, and I couldn’t deal with it. I deleted the person. I blocked them. My defensive system kicked in. They don’t know who I am! They don’t know my blog! How rude! Am I not allowed to comment on a brand on Twitter, telling them I love what they stand for, what they provide? Get lost!

Closet Confessions Cyber Bullying Rachel Hills Cosmopolitan

Rachel was such a sweet lady, such a talented writer. I was so happy to speak with her. We poke on the telephone for 20 minutes about life, blogging, Twitter and cyber bullying. She let me tell my story and didn’t interupt me. She askwed me questions. She was amazing, and I loved sharing my story with her. The talk feels years ago, but it was only a few months ago. Rachel was so wonderful in letting me know that the article had been published, and not just in a newspaper, but the most important magazine for issues that matter, Cosmopolitan. I couldn’t believe it. My name, in Cosmo. A magazine of such an amazing level, or importance. Thank you to Rachel for sharing this issue with the readers of Cosmo. Such an important issue that little is publically done about. Online crime is wrong, it is punishable by the law. People need to know that sometimes taking it too far really does hurt and it isn’t ‘cool’ or ‘funny’. Stop the online hate!

co1011FEATonline Closet Confessions Cyber Bullying Rachel Hills Cosmopolitan

You can check out Rachel Hill’s article in the October issue of Cosmopolitan with a sexy Katy Perry on the front cover (available in newsagency’s and leading supermarkets nationally) for $6.95. The article is on page 72-73. Thank you once again to Rachel for this amazing experiance and for letting me share my experiances with her!


Closet Confessions


Categories: My Writing

4 comments

  • Kimaloo

    It is amazing how terrible people can be when commenting on the internet! My cousin’s home was robbed recently while she was in the hospital giving birth to her daughter and our local news station did a story about it. The rude and demeaning comments amazed me… people had all kinds of things to say about her weight and how she dressed and even started saying she was to blame for the robbery “because she probably told everyone she was in the hospital on facebook” which wasn’t the case at all. I was so angry that people could be so callous and cruel. I hope that the more cyber-bullying is addressed, the less prevalent it will be.

    Thanks for sharing your story and making a difference!

    • Caitlin

      Kimaloo,
      What a terrible thing that happened to your cousin. That is disgusting that someone would even say some of those terrible things after going through so much! A baby and then to have things stolen is one thing, but to be insulted!!? How terrible!
      Thank you for commenting and my thoughts go out to your cousin. Best wishes to her and her new family addition!

      Caitlin Bradley
      http://www.closet-confessions.com

  • Annalise

    This isn’t hate just my opinion. I saw the tweets about you trying to get stuff for free. While I do think the person who wrote it was harsh and rude, it does a lot of the time seem like you are fishing for free stuff. Which is fine if that’s what you want from blogging but it can sometimes reduce your credibility as a blogger. Especially when the products have nothing to do with your blog.
    You recently made a review post about a jacket you got from No Exceptions. I think that was great, it was relevant to your readers and to you. It’s was about plus size fashion, and that what I assume your blog is about. Same with the swimsuits, it was relevant to your readers interests and people commented.
    But, you also did a review post about Vaseline dry skin moisturiser. Now don’t get me wrong, I love that stuff but it has nothing at all to do with your blog or readers. Even if you genuinely did love the product, it just came off as though you were trying to score some free loot. Your readers didn’t like that post either as it got no comments. The review of the shampoo was much the same.
    I know that it does feel nice to be rewarded for your efforts as a blogger but I think you are going about it in the wrong way. Look at other bloggers like Definatalie, Fat Aus and Fashion Hayley. They rarely have product reviews on their site and when they do it’s because they genuinely feel it’s relevant to their blog. I’ve also read that these woman turn down a lot of free stuff and this is part of what makes them credible bloggers.

    Just my $0.02
    :)

    • Caitlin

      Hello Annalise and thank you for commenting. I appreciate your opinion on this issue, and once again thank you for sharing it. Closet Confessions is a place where I share my favourite fashion, things I enjoy and the events I attend. It’s also a place where I feel I can share the things I find inspiring or products I am using. It’s a shame that you didn’t enjoy reading about the Vaseline and Botanics of Australia products, both opportunities offered over social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook) to the broader blogging community. I was very excited when I was accepted to feature the products on Closet Confessions, and didn’t expect to be chosen. I responded to review interest call outs by Face of Australia over Twitter and with Nuffnang by their Community Board.

      I would like to say that I have only been blogging since January and there are somethings that are very new to me. Communicating with brands, Twitter, reviews are all new to me and I accept that some people may have seen me communicating with brands and these Tweets may have looked as if I was expecting free items. This was not the case. I enjoy communicating with brands, seeing what new products they are offering. Yes, I Tweet to ask advice, yes I Tweet to hear the news, but I don’t expect someone to drop everything and provide me free things. There have been many tweets or blogs that have inspired me to purchase and use products. That’s the purpose of this instant communication, isn’t it?

      It dissapoints me that you believe that these posts (The Vaseline review and the Shampoo one) do not fit into my content. Closet Confessions is a space for me to share my inspirations and favourite things, be them fashion, plus-size fashion, art or things I’m doing with my studies. I wanted to try something new my reviewing these items, and as Closet Confessions isn’t just a plus-size fashion blog and it’s my personal sharing space, I wanted to. I’m sorry if you don’t believe this content was relevant. I had fun using a trying these products and writing these review posts. While I may not have comments on these blogs, as you have suggested, I have recieved email questions about the products from people who don’t like to comment, and the Botanics of Australia was one of my most popular posts (and still is in terms of page views) despite a lack of comments.

      As a reader of the blogs of Fashion Hayley, Fat Aus and Definatalie I feel flattered that you compare me to them. Those ladies are fabulous, experianced bloggers who have strong readerships. I haven’t been blogging for a year, I am constantly learning and taking things as they come to me. I have met Fashion Hayley in person and she is very knowledgable and inspiring. I have grown friends with Danimezza and she is helping me grow as a blogger. The reason I blog is because of Natalie of XL as Life and she is such a supportive person to me. Closet Confessions is different to all of the blogs of these ladies. Every plus-size fashion or lifestyle blog is individual just like the women who write their blogs. I want Closet Confessions to remain a place I share my favourite things, and I hope that you enjoy reading my blog if you are a regular, or to come back and share my journey in writing.

      Once again, thank you for commenting Annalise and I have taken your opinions and suggestions on board. It is a shame you believe all I am doing is trying to get free things. In fact, I am taking ech day of blogging as a step to sharing a piece of myself. Each post is a chance to share my passions, my dreams and what I love.

      Caitlin Bradley
      http://www.closet-confessions.com

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