Last year, 115 million images were deleted from social media because of beauty cyberbullying.
At Rimmel London, we believe that everyone should be able to fearlessly express and be themselves, without fear of judgement, criticism, or shame. That’s why we have commissioned a global study to investigate the problem, and have partnered with The Cybersmile Foundation, in order to spread awareness and stand up to beauty cyberbullying everywhere.
‘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 thus far.’
Every beauty cyberbullying story is different. Get to know our cast, whose lives have all been affected by it.
‘I think when you face beauty bullying, or bullying in general, your feelings are completely valid. You have to give yourself the okay to not be okay.’
Ascia is an American-Kuwaiti blogger, entrepreneur, model, and fashion designer who’s often bullied for breaking cultural beauty norms. Criticised for her tattoos and piercings, Ascia chooses to rise above the negativity by focusing on the beauty in others instead.
Ascia Al Faraj@ascia
‘The anonymity definitely adds to it. No one would ever be so direct as to come over to you and say, “Babe, that is not for you.”’
Tess always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. However, when she lost the use of her right hand, make-up became her creative outlet instead. When she experiences beauty cyberbullying, she doesn’t put up with the negativity. Instead, she just laughs it off and focuses on other things, like being one of Instagram’s most exciting (and hilarious) beauty influencers.
‘Being shameless and proud of who you are and what you look like is totally okay, and I think more of us need to have that look-at-me attitude.’
Stef Sanjati is a transgender woman, activist, and influencer from Canada who experienced bullying from a very young age. Her striking facial features, the result of a genetic mutation called Waardenburg Syndrome, were once the source of bullying. Now, she celebrates her beauty and is one of the internet’s most empowering voices.
‘Someone told me I should catch cancer so my hair falls out, because I’m too hairy.’
Fifi is a model and artist with a really uplifting approach to bullying. Targeted because of her eyebrows, her response is to combat hate with love. She’ll often contact her attackers directly to send them messages of positivity, helping them understand that she is a real person and that they don’t have to resort to hurtful behaviour online.
‘I’m so sad about how much time I wasted on what other people thought and how I looked.’
Chessie King is on a mission to spread body positivity and happiness all over the world. A presenter and social media role model, she aims to inspire her followers by showing them a more realistic view of what goes on behind the camera, and occasionally faces negativity for it. But she’ll never let that stop her from helping other women find their confidence.
‘My antidote to bullying is to take a day off social media. Set your own mantra, and just reset yourself.’
A plus-sized model with albinism, Joanne is frequently bullied for the way she looks. So much so that she once deleted her Instagram account because of it. But, now, she’s moved past the negativity and has launched a successful career as a London-based model, having worked on several beauty and fashion campaigns.
‘So, if I can sit here wearing make-up or without make-up and show my skin, then so can you.’
Kadeeja suffers from acne and once relied on Photoshop to give her skin that ‘perfect look’. But, now, she embraces her beauty and uses her Instagram to empower her followers to never hide who they are.
‘I would speak to people who were supportive of me, and it helped me find who I was.’
Eden is a UK-based model. When she was younger, she was bullied and told to bleach her skin. Back then, she would delete her photos because of the negative comments. Now, however, she embraces her beauty and has made it her mission to stand up to bullies everywhere.
‘When I was posting videos of me with make-up on, I got a few rude comments – just negativity from people.’
Anthony is a performance artist and dancer based in the UK. He gets bullied for wearing heels, make-up, and a nose ring. But he just takes these comments in his stride, proving his bullies wrong by being a creative and inspiring force of positivity.
‘I find confidence in self-expression. Confidence is when you’re comfortable, also when you’re happy.’
Lucy is a student from the UK who has been bullied for the size of her forehead. Instead of hiding away and letting this get to her, she embraces it and often incorporates it into her look, playfully referring to it as her ‘fivehead’. Not one to give into bullies, her fearless attitude is an inspiration to all girls.
‘People would make accounts up, and would message me saying really, really nasty things.’
Seventeen-year-old Jason Kerr is a talented, self-taught make-up artist from Glasgow. When he was starting out in his career, people he knew would open fake Instagram accounts just to bully him. These days, he doesn’t let the negative comments get under his skin as he pursues his passion for make-up.
‘Occasionally, I’ll upload a photo and it will get a lot of great comments, but it will get a lot of nasty ones too.’
Once bullied as a young child, Paula Gonu has now become a passionate advocate for our cause. She firmly believes that the key to ending beauty cyberbullying – in fact, all kinds of bullying – is education, and she uses her platform, as well as her large social following, to help people understand why it’s wrong.
‘I still don’t understand why others think they can decide how someone else should look.’
Ewa – aka Red Lipstick Monster – has been bullied for her daring and unique use of colour in her looks. But she doesn’t let that get in the way of her creativity. She firmly believes we should all be able to express ourselves as we like.
‘I always used to wear a mask when I went to school to cover my lips and freckles.‘
Yuki is a Japanese model and fashion student who recently moved to the UK from Japan. Back home, she felt insecure about her freckles and signature pout, and would hide them behind a face mask. Now, she feels much more confident and celebrates her beauty.
Get the full story
Get to know our cast on a deeper level. Scroll through to see Tess, Ascia, Stef, Paula, and Ewa’s stories.
We have partnered with The Cybersmile Foundation – a multi-award winning anti-cyberbullying non-profit organization, committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse, harassment and bullying online.
Want to be the first to know when the Cybersmile Assistant tool goes live and more from us? Sign up to our newsletter now.
Why we’re involved
At Rimmel London, we always strive to inspire people to be their most authentic selves, encouraging men and women everywhere to express their identities through the use of make-up.
As a brand, we stand against narrow definitions of beauty, and firmly believe that no one should ever be shamed, judged, or criticised for the way that they look or choose to express themselves.
Let’s talk beauty cyberbullying
Join our cast as they talk about their collective experiences. Scroll through to hear them talk about confidence, self-expression, and beauty cyberbullying.
Our worldwide studyDownload the full white paper
A look behind the scenes
Want to check out what happened behind the scenes on our campaign? Watch the video now.
On behalf of the Rimmel family, thank you for taking an interest in our movement. Don’t forget to share the message and join the conversation, so that we can stand up and raise awareness for beauty cyberbullying.