Whether you like outspoken blogger Constance Hall or not doesn’t matter. The online bullying that this mum-of-five endures is disgraceful and needs to end.
The bullies came out in force again after Constance was revealed as one of the new contestants on the next series of hit TV show Dancing with the Stars.
And when you hear how disgusting and shameful the messages are, you’ll be horrified.
Last week Constance Hall was revealed as one of the new contestants on Channel Ten’s Dancing with the Stars. Now she’s released an emotional video on Facebook explaining exactly why she signed on – to try and stop the normalisation of cyber bullying.
Over the years the frank blogger has shared her life unashamedly with her thousands of followers. And she’s also suffered terrible online abuse and vitriol because of it. At times the awful abuse has even left her on the edge of being suicidal. Now Constance is finally calling it out. And all she wants is for people to be kinder to one other.
Constance and the rest of the Dancing with the Stars cast. Image source: Instagram.
Popularity at a price
In the emotional video. the mum-of-five (plus two step children) reveals how she’s been the victim of horrendous cyber bullying as her blog became super popular over the past three years.
“I have had every hateful comment written about me that you can imagine and I’ve spent the last three years pretending that it didn’t affect me. I have been in tears, I have been depressed, I have been almost suicidal. I have wanted to stop writing, I have wanted to hide away and never show my face again,” Constance says.
It’s because of all awful attention that she originally declined to be on the new season of the hit dancing show (expecting another barrage of abuse). But after giving it some extra thought, Constance decided to be strong. She’s pulling on her dancing shoes and using it as an opportunity to speak out against online bullying, and to create more awareness for Rafiki Mwema, the African charity she supports.
“What I am dancing for is every single one of you, every single young person who has to go to school every day or has to catch that train, or has to go to work where you’re bullied and treated unkindly and I’m dancing for you and I want you to know it’s not okay,” she says, through her tears.
Creating change from hate
To demonstrate just how vicious online attackers can be, Constance shares in her video some of the nasty comments she’s received since the Dancing with the Stars news broke. And quite frankly we’re shocked. In addition to numerous horrific slates about her appearance and smell, many wished her serious harm including suggestions that she should kill herself.
“I wanna read about her in the West Australian obituaries,” Constance reveals her haters posted. “You’ll be able to smell her through my TV. She looks like a walking venereal disease that needs to invest in a bra.
And this: “I though the show was called Dancing With the Stars, not Dancing with the outspoken, gross hippy. You gotta feel for everyone on the show having a feral on set who’d smell like she’d bathe in faeces let alone having to interact with the thing.”
“Dancing with the gutter trash. I hope it falls over and breaks its leg. Have a scrub you grubby looking cow. I’m surprised her husband hasn’t hung himself.”
And it goes on. Nasty, vile, vindictive. And completely unacceptable.
This is a mother. A successful woman with a family and feelings. She DOES NOT deserve this kind of treatment, and nor does anyone else.
A growing problem
The problem of cyber bullying is not new. Up to one in five young Australians report being cyber bullied. And it’s becoming more common and expected, particularly on social media. No matter whether you’re an adult or a child, no one should have to endure online trolls and bullies. The damage can be lasting, irreversible and sometimes even life threatening.
Mum Central support Constance in her stand against the bullies. There’s no place for bullying online and there’s certainly no place for it among our community of mums. Be kind to each other. Think before you type. And remember, on the other end of the phone or computer is another mum, just like you.
So what can you do?
According to Reachout there are five different strategies which can help you deal with cyber bullies. They are:
- Don’t respond immediately – The person who is attacking you wants to get a reaction from you so don’t give them it. Put the phone or computer down for a hour or two and let yourself calm down and think carefully before responding.
- Follow up when you’re calmer – After a while go back online, ideally with a friend or family member, and get a proper feel for the situation. Then take a calm approach by responding in a neutral manner to try and work it out.
- Take screenshots – This is the best way to report cyber bullying, particularly as your abuser may delete their comment or photo afterwards
- Try to stop compulsively checking posts – Limit your social media time to a few periods a day so that the bullying doesn’t feel constant and you can take a break from the online world to look after yourself.
- Report and block – Use the built-in tools on social media sites to report and block abusive people. If you have done this and the bullying is still really bad, you can contact the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to file an official complaint and take the matter further.
Instagram recently introduced a Bully filter which we think is a great tool, especially for parents with young kids. Have you or your children ever experienced cyber bullying? Share your stories with us on Facebook.