Monday, 7 January 2013

When Twitter Goes Bad: Claire Richards Attacked by Trolls

Doncha hate it when Twitter becomes evil?
Picture from Pintrest
I never liked the group "Steps"
I begin with this statement as its kind of ironic that this is the second post I have written in as many months championing one of the groups singers when I own not a single track by them and went to great lengths to avoid listening to then at the height of their success.
wrote a while ago about the shocking treatment of Claire from Steps in the Daily mail, basically being bullied for no longer having the slim figure she enjoyed pre children a decade ago (I know woman has kids, and puts on weight shocker-hold that front page)  and I'm afraid I find myself yet again feeling I need to step up to the plate and defend this chick, this time I'm talking to you twitter.
I love twitter, it makes me laugh every day, gets me the news faster than any other medium I know and always seems the sassier, slightly smarter alternative to the likes of facebook, or the food porn of instagram.
Sadly I know it can also be the online equivalent of  a troll cave and have at times seen some  frankly quite shocking stuff tweeted. 
Pinging around timelines like hash tag wrapped hate turds, sometimes the trolls take over and boy were the hairy toed ones out in force last weekend.
You see last Sunday was the launch of Celebrity Big brother and one of the contestants is Claire Richards from Steps.
Lovely Claire putting her head in the lions mouth that is CBB

Now I completely get that if you put your head in a lions mouth you might get more than a neck nuzzle and it could be argued that if you stand on a glorified catwalk being filmed and photographed for the British TV viewing public at large you are inviting comment.
However-I'm going to say this again as it needs to be reiterated.
Its not cool or clever to spend your time on twitter calling a woman you don't know,have never met and who has a family and friends (who could no doubt see all the comments because you hash tagged them) hurtful names.
Twitter when you are nice you are very, very nice and when you are bad you are horrid
Picture from Pintrest
Claire Richards knows she is plus sized, she began her celebrity Big Brother VT pointing this out (getting in there before others could no doubt) and the fact she felt the need to comment on this in advance made me a little bit sad I have to say. I'm sure she would rather just describe herself as a singer and mother.
So its not the elephant (no pun intended) in the room.When you tell Claire on twitter she is overweight you are not exposing the fact that the emperor has no new clothes you are just being cruel. 
And twitter trolls think on this, by equating being a certain size as being unattractive, ugly and somehow less of a person you are just buying into the medias current "obesity epidemic" obsession which is just another glorified stick to beat women up with about their appearance.You have swallowed the bullshit guys and are basically an online woman abuser-nice.
Claire was wearing a lovely frock, had fab hair and killer heels on and to be fair lots of plus sized hotties were giving her outfit the twitter glad eye but sadly there were also quite a few  being snarky about her weight. 

This is where I have a love hate relationship with twitter. The 140 character limit brings out so many clever, witty wry observations which can make a simple action such as watching dancing on ice hilarious. 
Its allows an immediate connection to current events and has in many ways (in my humble opinion) broken the stranglehold of the Murdoch media empire in a rather spectacular fashion. Print what you like, broadcast what you will, often the real reflection of whats going on in society is played out on twitter whilst the rest of the world plays catch up.
But to use the medium to call someone a "fat bitch" or ask "who ate all the pies" come on that just isn't cool twitter, its not funny or urbane its cringey and unforgivable. Don't make me take away your wi-fi privileges.
How about we get this trending on twitter just for the sheer hell of it  #Claireisbeautiful 
or maybe if you have nothing nice to tweet, don't tweet anything at all.

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  1. Well said Betty :) I've not watched any of the CBB. So this is the first pic I've seen of Claire. Her dress is gorgeous. I know what it's like to be called fat and it's cruel and hurtful. No-one deserves that level of public humiliation. Like you said she is someone's mother, daughter, sister. Why can't the media except that whether we are male or female we all come in different shapes and sizes xx

  2. Absolutely. I blogged about Claire this morning, was waiting for the hate to start.

    The relentless fat hate is getting so bad...there's even 'Embarassing Fat Bodies' on TV later tonight. I actually shouted at the TV to 'P*ss off' when I heard that trailer...*sigh*

  3. That's horrid! Yes, I hate the way people use the internet just to be mean (like GOMI), it's just an opportunity for people to be the 'mean girls' they were at school! Clare is indeed beautiful! If I had Twitter, I'd go and twitter it!

  4. Well said. I said to my hubby as she went in how gorgeous she looks. She's got gorgeous curves, skin to DIE for and is so bloomin' pretty. I feel genuine pity for shallow shit bags, I really do. xx

  5. You know, she reminds me a bit of Diana Dors in that dress, who also started out as a skinny minny and became fuller figured as she got older, but never really lost her sex symbol status. Anyway, I wonder if thats it? Maybe because she is in the pop industry that with very few exceptions seem to all be very slim, and that she was once slim and then gained weight in the public eye. It bugs the life out of me that plus sized people are accepted only in a certain pigeon hole, (a slightly sad, lonely, but also comedic role on TV soaps). I would love to see more plus size people who don't have their weight mentioned, but I think it stems from the press. People who are larger always seem to have their name prefixed with a weight related term, instead of something positive. Anyway, rant over lol. I hope Claire keeps her head held high and lets the hateful comments out there pass her by.

  6. I wonder what the people who write this sh*t look like? It seems ok to call people fat & laugh at them. On Sunday the BBC breakfast lady said that all fat pets had fat owners! She went on to explain that fat people are uneducated on eating so pass this on to their pets.... I mean really??? This is the BBC!!! Righty so we aren't allowed to make racist/gay/disable comments anymore but when is it going to change about plus size people?
    And why do they have to film larger people from the neck down when talking about the obesity crises? We all know what larger people look like....... *cross face*
    Rant over!!! x

  7. I have been wanting to watch it to support her, but at the same time just terrified of what I'm going to see in reaction to her public appearances and just know I'm going to become predictably angry.
    As it is, my hackles are semi up and I was half expecting to see things on facebook after the launch, but haven't yet. And i have to admit, I don't recall anything coming out after our lovely Natalie Cassidy was on CBB.

  8. Go Betty, perfectly put! They are probably very unhappy with their own lives and are trying to make themselves feel better... but still no excuse!!

  9. Well said Betty! I don't watch CBB and this is the first image I have seen of her from there, and the first thing I thought when seeing it was "Wow! She looks stunning, and where the hell is that killer dress from?!!" I'm so tired of the comments everywhere about women being "fat", "overweight, obese" etc, if we are in this size range, then chances are we know it, and so does everybody else, so what is the point in trying to make it news or your business?!! I don't understand Twitter at all, I've only got it for entering competitions, otherwise I would join your #claireisbeautiful campaign!

  10. I never watch these celeb drollfests. I did see her in previous programmes on her weight struggles, and l found it uncomfortable viewing at times, because she seemed so desperate to get back to her Steps size. When she was tiny but still complained she was fat. I wonder if she was almost apologising for putting the weight back on again, as she so publicly declared it was gone. She even burnt her bigger clothes in the back garden. I love Twitter too and l don't understand why people can be shockingly nasty. She does look beautiful, and her size is no one else's business.

  11. She is indeed bueautiful. Her body suits her small and big. People need to LAY OFF. My weight goes up and down more times than an elevator but I'm the same person.
    Social media sites BUG me sometimes.
    x x x x


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