The Cybersmile Foundation has launched an awareness campaign with London-based body confidence campaigner and social media influencer, Chessie King to help raise awareness of abuse on social media. The primary objective of the campaign was to highlight the damaging effects digital abuse can have on young people.
On April 11th, Chessie handed her Instagram account over to Cybersmile to show the kind of comments she received in response to the release of new images she had made.
Supported by a team of digital experts working pro-bono, Chessie released a series of photos and videos of herself onto her Instagram Story – and the content was altered in real-time in response to each negative comment she received from online trolls.
If someone commented that she looked overweight, her picture was made to look thinner in a totally unrealistic way. By the end of the day, Chessie’s images were morphed and became a reflection of what the trolls thought a perfect woman should look like.
“Body image is a huge issue for many people,” Dan Raisbeck, Co-Founder of The Cybersmile Foundation said. “We hope this campaign helps people to understand that other people’s judgments do not define them and also encourages them to celebrate their individuality.”
The entire campaign series will remain featured on Chessie’s Instagram Story Highlights for 1 month, and the final before and after images will remain on Chessie’s Instagram grid permanently. They show the transformation that the negative comments have made to her appearance – ultimately turning her into someone completely different, and taking away her natural beauty.
“I’m working with Cybersmile as this campaign is spreading such an important message. Trolling can affect anyone, from a 16-year-old who has 100 followers to a celebrity who has over 1 million followers and these can have extreme consequences,” Chessie said. “I have been through an exceptional amount of trolling these past 6 months since I’ve opened up more about my life on my Instagram platform and this has attracted such negativity from trolls and haters. Trolling is such an important issue to tackle.”
Since the campaign was launched, Chessie has received thousands of comments on her videos and new morphed images – reaching over 480,000 people in the first 24 hours.
Her participation in the campaign has helped many people understand the power their comments can have – both good and bad.
To find out more about Cybersmile’s work and their latest campaigns please visit their website.