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Celebrity stylist and designer Jennifer McKing speaks up about online bullying

Celebrity stylist and designer Jennifer McKing knows one thing or two about online bullying. After all, as London’s newest it-girl, she is one of the many people receiving hateful online comments regularly (too often, if you ask us), be that about the colour of her skin or the way she looks. For Anti-Bullying Week 2020, as part of the Not Just A Comment campaign in partnership with Ditch The Label, McKing sat down with Screen Shot and shared what raising awareness of the impact online abuse can have of someone’s mental well-being means to her.

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A post shared by Screen Shot media (@screenshothq)

As someone present and openly sharing on social media, you’re often the victim of online hate. If you could speak to people who write those messages, what would be the first thing you would tell them?

Get a life.

Since gaining many followers and the visibility that comes with them on social media, do you now react differently to those comments?

Yes I do—the ‘block’ button is my favourite thing.

What kind of advice would you give anyone who suffers from online abuse?

Do not take anything personal. Do not let keyboard warriors make you lose sleep at night. As I said before, block and delete, and stay focused on what you have going on in your real life.

How present is racism online and do you think enough is being done in order to shut it down?

Racism has never left on and offline, it has always been and still is present. I think more people who are not of colour should step up and stand up whenever they see it happening because black and brown people always shut it down but unfortunately people are still ignorant.

Getting bullied on social media and off social media about the colour of your skin is a feeling that’s unexplainable. As I stated in the video, I cannot change my skin so getting bullied over something I was born with (which I love) is really sick and low.

How mindful of online bullying would you say you are when posting new content online?

I’ve grown thicker skin over time so I really don’t care for online trolls anymore. In life, you can’t give that much power to people that you don’t know.

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A post shared by Jennifer Mcking 🇨🇩 ♏️🦂 (@jennifermcking_)

How is your style and attitude helping you protect yourself and boost your confidence?

By ignoring the hate I’m able to focus on myself more. The power of knowing who you are and loving yourself is extremely important. When you love yourself, you are able to be the best version of yourself, which allows me to create the best content for my followers.

What are other things you do to help you feel more empowered and how could they help others feel the same?

I love talking to my friends. I have an amazing support system and some awesome friends who always uplift me. I think people get lost in the world of social media and forget about their real lives. In real life I’m surrounded by nothing but love and it truly empowers and uplifts me.

What boundaries have you set on your social media platforms in order to keep some aspects of your life ‘safe’ from online bullies?

I don’t post my relationships on social media unless it’s super super serious. I try to keep it fashion-related or work-related. I’m a bit private about my personal life but I’m not afraid to share some parts of my life.

If you could change one aspect about the internet, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change a thing. It is what it is.

Finally, what is the best thing you would recommend people to do for Anti-Bullying Week 2020?

Spread love, be kind and comment something nice on someone’s page!

You heard McKing, if you’re a hater, get a life. If you’re currently suffering from online abuse, block, delete, and focus on loving yourself. Share with anyone else who you think might be suffering from bullying and donate if you can to help support the incredible work Ditch The Label is doing. Share the hurtful comments you’ve received online using #NotJustAComment and raise awareness about the impact of online bullying.