One of the great things about social media is that we’re given first-hand access to people that previously were completely unobtainable (apart from reading about them in the tabloids – which let’s be honest, was always taken with a grain of salt). But while this openness brings about a lot of positivity (the all too familiar – and yes, I’m guilty of it too – “love your top” “love your shoes” “love your face” “love you”) – it also brings with it the trollers. People who feel they have a right to voice their negative opinion.
Having faced her own set of trollers, we tracked down style influencer Rozalia Russian to have a chat about gaining a thick skin and how to best deal with the haters.
You’ve previously talked about the negative aspects of putting yourself out there on social media. Can you tell me more about this?
When you put yourself out on social media, you can’t be too precious about it. I completely understand that I am sharing my life and I can’t expect everyone to like what I do or wear. What I do expect though is for people to show some sort of humane respect towards each other.
Freedom of speech has been replaced with manners and that’s my biggest issue. People will comment something nasty and then when you say something back, they pull the “well I have a right to say how I feel” card. Whatever happened to ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all’? To be honest, if someone doesn’t like what I am wearing or how I have styled my hair, well that’s their opinion and they are entitled to it. It’s when people start commenting on more personal issues, that’s when I think it’s uncalled for. Someone once told me that ‘if they don’t know you personally, then don’t take it personal’.
How do you ignore the haters?
Like I mentioned above, I have a pretty thick skin and don’t really let any of it get to me. Once you go through some hardship in your life, it sounds cliché, but strangers typing nasty comments from behind their computer screens doesn’t really rate. If you want to say something nasty and negative, I often feel that is a problem the individual has within themselves. You don’t really come across happy successful people who spend time writing nasty comments. I also never entertain any haters and I will never comment back. If you write back then they know they have reached you and you’re validating their nasty opinion. I would rather leave them wondering if I read the comment and if I actually care.
Do you find your supporters tend to rally around you when a negative comment is posted?
It just depends. I definitely don’t expect anyone to fight my battles or comment on my behalf. If it’s comments about my outfit and people don’t like it, well then who cares! They’re just clothes. However, I do find that I am lucky to have support when it comes to more personal issues. Things like having a c-section and pregnancy, I find that the majority of women support each other and their own individual choices. It’s a very small minority of people who force their opinions and beliefs and if you don’t agree with them then they lash out.
What would be your advice to other influencers who are receiving bullying comments on Instagram?
Don’t respond and don’t block. I have never blocked anyone. Why block someone and let him or her know that they have gotten to you?
All images: www.rozalia.com.au