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Tik Tok influencer Molly Fishman calls trolling of Molly-Mae Hague “disgusting” and that “no one should have to go through that.” This comes just days after the Love Island star became the victim of backlash against a bikini picture published in the Daily Mail.
In an interview focused on body positivity, Molly Fishman said she “feels so terrible for Molly-Mae” but that she “feels optimistic for the next generation of young women because there is more body positivity around this age”.
The Daily Mail published photos of Hague in a bikini, which quickly attracted criticism from readers of the article. Comments included: “She needs to take some of those diet pills she markets”; “Looks lardy, out of shape and needs to loose that flab. Better with clothes on and looking away from the camera” and “If I’d a bum like that I wouldn’t flaunt I’d hide it.“
Hague took to Twitter to call out these comments: “I would actually love to know who writes these comments? Like how can you actually write sh*t like that and sleep at night? Beyond me.“
Another Twitter user, @__eirinnmolloy tweeted: “Molly Mae is the most successful person to come out of Love Island, she has a successful business, various partnerships with massive brands, a happy relationship, a booming bank balance and she’s unreal to look at. Stop it please x”.Tweet
Other body positive influencers, like 20-year-old Fishman, have experienced similar trolling. She said: “They do hurt, which sucks to say. But you can’t always ignore them.“
“It would be easy for someone to say something because a lot of people don’t think I should be talking about body positivity – technically I am a little bit on the skinnier side. But it really sucks when I’m making these videos to get the point across that you should love your body no matter what you look like.”Molly Fishman
Fishman became a Tik Tok sensation during quarantine, after she started posting videos celebrating features on women’s bodies, like cellulite and stretch marks. This week she has hit the 1million-likes milestone, her most popular video being “Normalize it”, in which she shows how ‘rolls’ are normal when sitting down.
But Fishman has also had to make a video to counteract trolls and backlash against her message. Her Tik Tok video “please please please just be kind. please” addresses the “nasty comments” she’s been getting.
She said: “If you said that to someone who wasn’t as confident as I try to be, it could really hurt them. Please think about what you put out there.“Molly Fishman
Criticism over women’s bodies is no new topic and celebrities have been susceptible to body shaming from the press.
During the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, figures have shown the increase in appreciation for exercise and activity. Whilst we know physical activity is beyond beneficial for our wellbeing (increasing our mental alertness, energy and positive mood), putting pressures on ourselves to look a certain way is not.
Reports suggest there is an inextricable link with body image and mental health – one study suggests that 47% of 18-24 year olds and 36% of all women had experienced stress over their body image to the extent of being overwhelmed and unable to cope. Although these body image concerns apply to both men and women, this is most common for young women.
Charities like Young Minds have put out resources for those struggling with body image during lockdown.
TEAsers: look out for more content this week on body positivity and how influencers could be a force for change.