The Subject Of An Internet Meme Speaks Out Against Online Trolls

The Subject Of An Internet Meme Speaks Out Against Online Trolls


by Milly Putt |
Published on

We love a good meme, simply because they’re #relatable. But have you ever thought about the people behind the photos you share? Stars including Lena Dunham have recently spoken out about the negative comments they receive on their pictures, but it’s not just A Listers that experience this Internet hate.

Last week, we shared Kate Killet’s account of how it felt when her face became a viral meme. Now 20-year-old Ashleigh Van Pevenage has opened up about her experience of becoming an internet meme. She had suffered from an allergic reaction to Benzoyl, causing her to have a severe breakout of acne. She turned to her friend and make-up artist to help cover up her skin. The remarkable before and after photographs were put up on Instagram under the handle @MakeupByDreigh and quickly went viral.

However, several of the comments alongside the image were cruel, leading Ashleigh to post a video in response to the negativity. She reads out some of the, erm, charming statements people posted on the Instagram photo, such as ‘I’ll spend time with her, as long as I never have to see her before 10am’. Ashleigh, understandably described the experience as ‘hurtful’.

As with Kate Killett’s experience, Ashleigh was not expecting the image to spread so quickly. Fortunately despite her run-in with the Internet trolls, she has been able to turn this into a positive message about body confidence.

She said: “After reading all these comments I lost my confidence, I didn’t like going out without make up on or my hair done, but I realised that that isn’t the person I am and people’s opinion’s don’t matter to me and they shouldn’t matter to anyone. Everyone should be able to feel beautiful in their natural skin”.

We agree with you Ashleigh, as have many of her viewers online, describing her as a ‘badass’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘inspirational’. The support she’s received for this video gives us a glimmer of hope that the internet isn’t all bad.

- Milly Putt

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