A beauty blogger from Sheffield, has shared her story of receiving negative comments about her disability, as part of a global campaign aimed at combating the issue of beauty cyberbullying.
Tess Daly from Sheffield Lane Top was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 at 18 months old, meaning she has to use a motorised wheelchair on a daily basis as she cannot walk or stand.
However, the fashion-mad beauty blogger has not let this hold her back, going on to build a ‘great community’ of nearly 150,000 followers who keep up to date with her on Instagram.
Despite this, she admits to facing hate comments linked to her disability, but thanks her parents and a great network of friends, who have helped her develop a thick skin from an early age.
She said: “At one point I filtered out words I didn’t want to see, ones that were consistent on my posts. It used to be more frequent, but personally I feel like people are becoming a lot more kinder.
“If I have a hate comment, I have people that will reply saying ‘why are you saying that, Tess is great’ or whatever. My followers are very respectful, I’m quite lucky they’re mature and level headed.
“My parents are really strong, and I've got a great network of friends, I think that moulds you into who you are. I have people asking me how to increase their confidence but I’ve never known any different.
“You get one life, and I intend to live it. It doesn’t register with me that I could be without my disability, I'm not going to waste time thinking like that, I intend to live my life to the full.”
Now, Tess has joined Rimmel in their #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign, taking part in the brand’s hero film to share her first hand experience of the negative effects of beauty cyberbullying in a bid to tackle the prejudice and discrimination that stand in the way of self expression.
The campaign forms an integral part of global beauty brand Coty’s ongoing commitment which also aims to celebrate and liberate the diversity of consumers’ beauty when it comes to things like gender, sexual orientation, disability and ethnicity.
Tess added: “It’s about being authentic to your self without living in fear of ‘I look too fat in that picture’ or ‘I look too disabled’, do what you want to do regardless of what people say.
“If you want to wear that bikini, it doesn’t matter if society says we’re too fat or too disabled you wear it. I actually posted my first bikini picture the other day, and normally my posts average around four to five thousands likes, but it got 15,000 and all the comments were so positive.
“I was in LA and I had a beautiful swimming pool, I thought no I’m not going to wear a polo, I’m in a position where I can normalise disabled bodies and if I’m going to get bad comments who cares.
“The good always out weighs the bad.”
The film, released today to coincide with the start of Anti-Bullying Week 2018, includes the accounts of young people from all corners of the globe who have been central to the development of the #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign.
Rimmel global brand ambassadors Rita Ora and Cara Delevingne also feature in the emotive film alongside other young people to share their own authentic stories of being on the receiving end of beauty cyberbullying.
For the campaign, Rimmel have partnered with the multi award-winning anti-cyberbullying non-profit organisation, The Cybersmile Foundation.
They will work with Cybersmile to tackle the societal issues that stop people of all ages from feeling unable to fully express themselves on social media due to fear of negative commentary or retribution.
As part of this long term partnership, Rimmel will work with Cybersmile to create The Cybersmile Assistant, a state-of-the-art AI-driven tool that will be available for all visitors to the Cybersmile website from across the globe.
Set to launch in next year, this ground-breaking virtual assistant will be rolled out in several languages and recommend approved local resources, helplines and organizations that can help those affected by beauty cyberbullying.
Sara Wolverson, Vice President of Rimmel Global Marketing, Coty, said: ‘The release of our film to mark the start of the global #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign is a hugely exciting moment for everyone that has been involved thus far.
“At Rimmel, we have a clear purpose as a brand to inspire people to experiment and express themselves through make-up. Beauty cyberbullying is on the rise and the white paper that we publish today includes some truly shocking findings.
“We launch our global campaign today to give a voice to people who have been beauty cyberbullied and we offer them this platform to tell their stories
“We believe by through sharing this film and delivering this campaign, we will raise global awareness of this issue. Our partnership with The Cybersmile Foundation is an integral part of ambition to find solutions to some of these global issues.”
Scott Freeman, CEO, The Cybersmile Foundation, added: “We’re very excited to be working with Rimmel as part of the #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign. The research has highlighted how big an issue beauty cyberbullying is among young women and we’re confident that The Cybersmile Assistant will play an active role in addressing these concerns."