Fitness Blogger Cassey Ho Battles Body Shaming & Cyber Bullying In Viral Video

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Monica Lewinsky said it in her powerful TED Talk about online shaming. The Gamergate movement proved it in its vicious treatment of female gamers and game developers. And all too sadly, people like Leelah Alcorn have both lived and died by it. We’re talking about cyber bullying, online harassment, and the world of internet shaming.

Technology is one of the most powerful and wonderful advances of our lifetime. It has literally changed the entire world, and in some corners of the globe technology is empowering poverty-stricken and marginalized groups to get a helping hand at a better life.

Blogging platforms, video platforms and social media have given rise to the voice of the people in a much more amplified way that actual street protests and demonstrations have ever done throughout history. The Arab Spring would not be the revolutionary upheaval it became in the Middle East if it weren’t for journalists, bloggers, activists and everyday citizen sharing their stories on platforms made possibly by technology.

But for all its positive uses, there is an unfortunate amount of negative use as well. Simply click on any video on Youtube and scroll through the comments (especially if the video happens to be featuring a woman, or about a female issue). Many studies show that women are disproportionately affected by online harassment and trolling, and it’s not just by the hands of men either.

The thing about cyber bullying is that many people now also have an amplified voice to be negative and horrible, and can do so anonymously. The “no accountability” factor is something that draws people in to being negative, because in a sense they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions.

Thankfully sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have improved the methods for dealing with and reporting cyber bullies. But they cannot police every word.

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Which is why this viral video made by fitness blogger and vlogger Cassey Ho is quite confronting. Cassey is the found of Blogilates, a platform where she regularly shares workout videos and fitness advice for her 2 million Youtube subscribers, over 800k Instagram followers, and many more fans.

With her huge fan base comes plenty of nasty, spiteful and downright mean comments, especially in regard to her body. So Cassey decided to make a video called “The Perfect Body” sharing some of the real comments she has gotten and how it can affect her at times.

“When you look in the mirror, are you happy with what you see? Or do you stare at yourself, pinching your fat away, lifting up your butt, pushing in your boobs, wishing you looked like a VS supermodel? It’s hard to be content with the shape of your body when people are constantly telling you how fat you are. The backhanded compliments, the mean comments, the cyber bullying – all of this messes with us…and it hurts. What if getting flat abs and bigger boobs was as easy as a click. What if you could stop all the hate and just photoshop yourself right now, in real life? What would you change?” she writes in the description about the video which has over 4 million views and was only posted on April 16, 2015.

Cassey wanted to share with her community and the world how the bullying affects even someone like her.

“Since I’ve started YouTube, I’ve definitely been attacked here and there. I’ve learned how to deal with it by growing a thicker skin. Within the past few months though, it’s gotten really negative online. It’s actually been terrible. Not just comments, but people making full on videos trash talking my body and my techniques as a certified fitness instructor. You may not know it, but when things get bad, I try my best to hold back my tears and tighten my mouth so that I don’t frown. But sometimes, it gets to be too much. So I break,” she writes in a blog post about the video.

We see Cassey scrolling through a whole load of negative comments, then photoshopping her body to try and improve her body. It’s not the first time Cassey has started a conversation to confront the narrow body image that not only the media perpetuates upon us, but what we force upon each other.

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She posted this purposely photoshopped image of her body the array of comments she received is quite startling. It is shocking to see the people who praised her who clearly didn’t recognize this was a doctored photo. And it is sad to see how angry and hostile others can be toward a woman posting an image of herself in workout gear.

There are some key things we can take away from this video. 1. Body shaming is NEVER ok. Before we post anything online that mocks or dissects someone (especially a woman’s) appearance, take a few minutes to think about whether this is going to help, hinder or harass someone. 2. We are responsible for what we say and do online. It is easy to hide behind the barrier of anonymity, but it’s time we started putting ourselves in other people’s shoes to see how we would react to the type of comments we are about to write.

Thank you Cassey for being vulnerable about your struggles. It speaks volumes about what people go through everyday online.

Let’s take this as as reminder that we can all be part of making a change. Not necessarily on our bodies, but in our actions.

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  1. Pingback: This Popular Beauty Vlogger Responded To Harassment In The Best Way Possible

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