Simply existing as a woman on the internet tends to result in a deluge of unsolicited comments about your appearance, your attractiveness and your weight — particularly if you’re a woman in the public eye.
However, one comedian has found a very healthy (and positive) way to cope with the insults she receives from online haters.
Recently, Danish comedian Sofie Hagen shared a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit as part of a photoshoot for a women’s magazine. However, because she is a woman who dared to take pride in her body on the internet, the photo sadly received negative and hateful comments from trolls.
Sofie reposted the image to make a point about engaging with hateful comments.
In her Facebook post, Sofie told her followers that the swimsuit photo prompted some pretty nasty comments from online haters, and how this sort of incident has caused her to really think about the motivations behind the negativity and trolling:
There are two kinds of people. Creators and destroyers.
No happy person feels the need to go online and attempt to make a stranger sad. These people who are making these shitty comments wear their vulnerability on their sleeves. No one writes “DIE U FAT BITCH” and then goes out for a nice meal with some friends and laugh and feel content. No one says “Fucking pig kill yourself” and then gets into bed with their soulmate and feels that pinch of true happiness in their stomachs. I am not saying that trolls are all sad men sitting in their mothers’ basements – because as we’ve seen over the years, a lot of them walk among us. Lawyers, accountants (so many accountants), teachers, politicians. What I am saying is: They are so, so sad. So unhappy. So desperately miserable.
Imagine feeling the need to do something like that.
She tells her fans that thinking of the haters in this way allowed her to truly distance herself from the hollow insults. She encouraged people to focus on sending love to the trolled rather than arguing with the trolls themselves — because honestly, acknowledging the hate-spewing only fuels the fire. Wouldn’t it be better to just drown out the trolls’ voices with positivity?
For those of you who take the fights – who write the hilarious comments underneath the trolls’ ridiculous comments – I have a suggestion. If you want to fight online, oh by all means, do. I respect and understand that completely.
But here is a thought: Whenever you see anyone post a vile and sad abusive message online – go find someone who receives it and give them love. For every abusive comment or tweet – send two supportive and loving tweets or comments to someone who deserves it. Or knit a scarf or paint a picture. Do something creative that makes you or someone else happy. Go share a video by a band that no one knows. Retweet a funny tweet. Tweet your favourite comedian that you actually just find them really funny. Spread joy and positivity and love.
As for any people who have occasionally found themselves insulting strangers online, Sofie has a message for you, too:
And if you read this whole thing and you’re someone who’s ever left a message online to a stranger, wanting their feelings to be hurt: Turn your life around, mate. Get help. Talk to someone. But not me, because I’m too fucking busy being hot in a swimsuit.
Perhaps this is the healthiest way to view hateful commenters. Maybe instead of engaging, we can all just focus on spreading more happiness and niceties to one another. It may sound like a far-fetched idea — but it also sounds like an extremely pleasant world to live in.