The person behind the picture. Curvy model Iskra Lawrence, whose Instagram post about fat shaming went viral in April, is now speaking out about the psychological effects of social media comments.
The Aerie Real spokesperson, 25, has been hurt by haters online in the past. "People forget that it's you out there," Lawrence said in a Facebook Live interview with Redbook on Friday, August 19. "You're very dehumanized when you're on social media. … The more I put myself out there, the more hate I receive."
The British native clarified exactly who trolls her the most. "I don't actually get [hate] off women, I get it off men," she explained. "Misogynistic men who think that I'm posting for them. … They don't understand what I'm trying to do, or that I have a voice or a message. This is someone who is negative and they're just trying to put that out there. It's attention-seeking."
Since blowing up on Instagram, Lawrence has navigated bullies calling her a "fat cow" and declaring that plus-size models promote obesity (because Lawrence is a size 14, she's not even technically a plus-size model). Still more haters stated "everyone needs to stop eating McDonald's" and "people like her eat too many bags of crisps" (the U.K. term for chips).
Even though commenters give her grief, Lawrence has empathy for them. "I feel bad for those people," she shared. "They clearly need help themselves and they've got insecurities."
The negativity online initially stunned her, but now she deals with it by deleting, reporting and blocking offenders. "I'm going to do whatever I want, it's not your place to say what I can and can't do," she noted. “Body-shaming is not acceptable. … You've just got to stop doing it. There's no need."
Lawrence's most important message is dedicated to young girls who are chasing approval on social media: "You really have to be careful. Really, if you place your value in likes and followers you're never going to be happy."
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