Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bullying, Body Shaming and Trolls

I will put my hands up now and say I have never watched TOWIE, nor have I seen any of this series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

I do, however, need to keep up with who is in them for my day job. 

Since the rumours of Gemma Collins entering the jungle started there has been some awful things written about her. Both by professionals looking to shock and by the public looking to be noticed. By the time she entered the Jungle they were deafening and hard to ignore.

Why do people think it's okay to shout, type and publish abuse purely based on someone's appearance? 

I don't know Ms Collins, but from the bits that I have read she's not the happiest of bunnies. Nor is she the most secure within herself. Putting herself in a position to be watched 24/7 was a brave one, just  not a position she had thought through entirely. I doubt it was the cameras being on her that created her decision to leave within 3 days of the programme starting, as Gemma would already be used to cameras following her, so much as being worn down by circumstance. 

Gemma has also been vilified for that most heinous of crimes; being hungry, and talking about it, with her other contestants. She is very much a glamour puss. Likes to look just so. This, in my opinion, is like a mask or a disguise. Something she can control and hide behind. 

In the jungle this bit of her has been torn away. 

Before she flew off to Australia she did an interview with Closer magazine, in which she described being shouted at down the street, or when she was driving her car. She wanted this experience to change people's perception of her. 

Speaking to Closer before the launch she said: ‘I was meant to lose weight before I went in the jungle, but I couldn’t stop eating, so losing weight once I am in there will be great!’ 


“I’d certainly consider having a holiday romance. Why not? I’m a single girl.”  

Gemma also seemed to think that the magic key would have been to lose a significant amount of weight  while she was on camera. Here I think was her main crux. She is obviously not happy within herself. 

“Hopefully I’ll walk out of the jungle in three weeks’ time with my head sorted out, my heart repaired and I’ll be 3st lighter. I’d be so happy.”

I don't know what type of 'sorting' out she would be able to get emotionally, and I doubt that she expected to be banished to the 'Celebrity Slammer' either. 

Less we forget, this is not a hardened adventurer or a scout/guide. Gemma is a boutique owner and a clothing designer (who has some lovely ranges). She was never going to just sail by. And the timing of the series for her personally was really bad. 

All this being said it is never right to abuse someone for how they look. Whether they be tall, short, fat, thin, top heavy, basically concave. It's just not right. If it was religion or the colour of a person's skin being vilified charges would probably be being brought against those who shared their thoughts for hate crimes. 

I'm not on my high horse just because I am one of the groaning many who are unhealthily obese and much bigger than is recommended. I am though able to understand where this poor lady is right now. 

I have been in the street and been jeered at for daring to exercise. I have been accosted and touched up on night's out. Even on my wedding day a stranger came up to me and told me I should have lost weight for my wedding. She never even asked my name, or said congratulations. 

But it doesn't matter what size you are, when your favourite jeans don't fit you still get that pit of your stomach feeling. You begin to question what you have left that you can wear. The problem is when it is then expressed, frequently and publicly by strangers that what you already know begins to drag you down. 

Remember over all that every one in these new breeds of Reality TV are actually real people, no matter how cartooney and over-inflated and confident they appear on their show. 

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