Rimmel Fights Cyber Bullying With Brave New Campaign
And the world's hottest celebrities are on board.
When I was maybe 14 or 15 years old my girl gang decided I could no longer be a part of the group. Looking back I can see they were the popular 'mean girls' of school and I have zero idea how I was ever involved with them in the first place. I am not cool. I have never been cool. I suspect that I was even less cool at 14.
I cared about horses. I loved my dog. I had a Holly Hobby wash cloth. When the girls I hung with talked about making out with boys I died inside. But they were my gang and I was desperate to stay in with them. In hindsight that's perhaps what drove them to cast me aside. They started with ignoring me. They spread rumours. They prank called me.
A full 30 years later I do not answer the phone. EVER. These things cut deep. Today I still have scars.
And when I think that this was face-to-face schoolyard stuff and old-fashioned telephone shenanigans it makes me shake my head. Because how much harder, how much more painful it must be the victim of this kind of viciousness via social media. I've had it there too. And it's stung a bit. But I'm an adult now so it will never impact me the way it did when I was young.
That said, when I think of young women (and men too) having to navigate this brand new social media world my heart hurts.
That's why campaigns such as Rimmel London's latest make me feel that little bit more positive about the future.
Because frankly, this S*&T has to change and the more influential brands such as Rimmel London get on board the better.
The campaign faces - beautiful women rocking their own look, their own stories.
The campaign is of course, I Will Not Be Deleted. It showcases real stories and shows that beauty bullying happens to folk from all walks of life: beauty influencers, models, celebrities and everyday social media users. Indeed, this nasty, weak (and it is F-ing weak, let's face it) nonsense goes on everywhere and all of the time and is directed at many, many people. But now Rimmel London is taking a stand. And we're so here for it. The staff at the beauty company are 100 per cent behind the campaign too.
"Rimmel has a clear purpose to inspire people to experiment & express themselves with make up to be their authentic self," says Sara Wolverson, Vice President of Rimmel Global Marketing at Coty.
"As a brand, we are against narrow definitions of beauty, people being shamed, judged and criticised because of their looks and this behaviour manifests itself widely today in the form of beauty cyberbullying."
In 2017, 11,000 women between the age of 16 and 25 were interviewed on behalf of Rimmel about their experiences of online bullying. The survey reveals the true scale of the problem and reports on the detrimental impact it has on the mental and emotional health of young people.
"When we understood the scale of the problem, we felt that now was the perfect time to give it a voice – a voice that is loud and clear that it is not okay to shame someone for the choice they have made to express themselves," says Ankita Sayal, Global Digital Director, Rimmel London.
The campaign is gaining traction via social media - the very home of much bullying.
THE KEY FINDINGS FROM RIMMEL’S STUDY:
• 115 million images are deleted each year
• 1 in 4 women worldwide have experienced cyberbullying about their looks
• 65% said their confidence has been affected by the bullying
• 11% of those bullied have experienced it once a month or more.
• 46% (or around 16.6 million) young women harm themselves with drugs or alcohol, self-harm or eating issues following being bullied online about their looks
• Only 44% of women report bullying
• 57% of those who’ve been bullied don’t tell anyone about their experience
• 33% of young women from (or in) UK feel that the way they look is only going to attract cyberbullying
• 51% say bullying has stopped them experimenting with their look or dress
The campaign has three major objectives. The first is to spark a global conversation surrounding beauty cyberbullying by teaming with a cast of influencers and individuals from around the world who have all had first-hand experience of the issue. And some very, very big names are getting behind it.
"I really wanted to be involved with the campaign because it is really in line with what I stand for on social media. I really hope that in sharing my story, I can help to humanise the things we see online and really raises awareness of the issue at large," says Ascia Al Faraj, Beauty Influencer from Kuwaiti.
Model and Rimmel ambassador Cara Delevingne - herself a victim of cyberbullying.
Model Cara Delevingne and singer Rita Ora were amongst those speaking out about their experience of cyberbullying. The pair personally related to the campaign.
"We really just want to shine a light on the fact that cyberbullying is not okay. I think it’s amazing that I have the opportunity to shoot with people who have such unique personalities and sense of individuality. This is something that has always been a big part of my career," says Rita, a Rimmel Brand Ambassador
"The message that I have for young people who are being affected is that you are enough," adds Cara, who is also an ambassador for the brand.
"It doesn’t matter what anyone else says ... you are not alone. We have to stand by each other and think twice before we comment. The problem with cyber beauty bullying is that people can write something and never have to deal with the consequences. The comments I have read are heart-breaking and its terrifying to see what words can do to someone."
Rita Ora - Rimmel ambassador and strident anti-bullying campaigner.
Rimmel hopes the campaign will also help to promote the concept of individual beauty - something The Beauty Insider is 100 per cent behind.
Rimmel will be partnering with international non-profit organisation, The Cybersmile Foundation, a multi-award winning anti-cyberbullying charity committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse.