When Thea Lauryn Chippendale shared her story of being shamed by a guy for her ASOS dress on a dating app, she never thought she would end up a model. Dress shaming is very common on digital medium where random entitled people take it upon themselves to troll others for what they are wearing. The ground for their sneer could be anything from religious beliefs, the length or cut of the clothes. But often, the trolling stems from this urge to bring other’s spirits down and being mean purely out of habit.
- A woman was recently trolled by a man on a dating website for her dress.
- When she posted the screenshot on Twitter, the company which manufactured the dress decided to take matters in their own hands.
- ASOS put the very picture of the woman in that dress on their online catalogue.
- The right way to put trolls down is to show support to those who are targeted.
ASOS took notice and added the very photo of hers in that dress in their online catalogue, along with other models wearing the same merchandise
This is what happened to Chippendale when a man called “a bit of a joke” and the dress she was wearing in the photograph “was not doing her any favours”. “It’s awful, you not rekon? Charity shop job! I tell what…GROW UP! And shop somewhere decent!” he added further. When Thea shared this story on Twitter, it the manufacturers of the dress, ASOS took notice and added the very photo of hers in that dress in their online catalogue, along with other models wearing the same merchandise. Who would have thought!
Men are trash. (Included the pic he’s on about 🙃) pic.twitter.com/3pi6NHl0Oy— Thea Lauryn Chippendale (@theachippendale) April 28, 2019
ASOS’s move has earned them a lot of praise on social media and rightly so. The most we expected from the company was some free goodies and a supportive tweet. But ASOS held a master class in how companies can help people in combating trolling by shutting negativity down for good. By putting Chippendale on their catalogue, ASOS has defended both its merchandise and its customer. It has also taken a stand against bullying which comes the way of social media users in form of trolling and shaming.
How do you put strangers into place who think that they are entitled to troll you, because it will not earn them any consequences?
Thousands of women and men face unnecessary nasty comments across various platforms, because a select few misinterpret their right to free speech as right to verbally abuse anyone. Comments which aren’t explicit in nature escape any action, but they are hurtful, nonetheless. They contribute to the negativity on internet, which has emerged as one of the biggest crutches of social media. How do you put strangers who think they are entitled to troll you, because it will not earn them any consequences, to place? The virtual nature of interactive platforms often ends up as a shield, or an excuse to be mean for people.
How many such trolls can one fight on daily basis, alone? When a person tells you that your dress is ugly or that you are a joke, what more can we do than get back to them with a smart response, or call them trash, as Thea did? Should we report them for saying something which many people will only see as “harmless” meanness? We can block them or learn to ignore them, but such actions seldom deter trolls from toning down their mean attitude.
ASOS’s move not only put the brand in good books of many on internet, it also made it clear that it cared about its customers and had the guts to stand by its merchandise.
Big companies can play an important part here, by closely paying attention to what all is happening on social media. They do not have to counter trolling with more trolling, but by having backs of those who are at the receiving end, like Thea. ASOS’s move not only put the brand in good books of many on Internet, it also made it clear that it cared about its customers and had the guts to stand by its merchandise. We can only hope that other brands learn the lesson of customer care here. Also, we all must understand that dress shaming is often not about the person at the receiving end, or the merchandise, but the arrogance that we let go unchecked on digital platforms. The best way to humble such trolls is to show support towards being wrongfully trolled. Countering hatred with love is the right way to do it.
Picture Credit: ASOS/Thea Lauryn Chippendale
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.