Misogyny On The Web: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini Speaks Out About Body Shaming Online

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has spoken out about body shaming, drawing our attention once more to the scary, growing trend for misogyny and abuse online.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has spoken out about body shaming, drawing our attention once more to the scary, growing trend for misogyny and abuse online.

The X Factor judge (who seems to be scrutinised from top-to-toe every time the prime-time series comes around) called the media’s focus on women’s bodies ‘bullshit’ and called for a change in the law, emphasising the negative impact that such social media commentaries can have on young people.

‘The body shaming has to stop,’ she told ES Magazine. ‘It’s bullshit. Something has to be done, changed, even if it’s done in law.’

‘I can take whatever they [the press] throw at me after 13 years, what worries me is what it’s doing to the younger generation. And some of the people writing this stuff are women. There is no sisterhood.’

In Marie Claire’s October issue, contributor Caroline Criado-Perez spoke to Dr Claire Hardaker about the rise and rise of misogyny online, exploring why people troll women and how we can shut up those who are trying to shut women down.

‘Misogyny is never, ever caused by the way a woman behaves,’ she writes. ‘When abuse does come your way, there’s no ‘correct’ way to deal with it, but we can choose our response armed with facts.’

‘It’s the three Ds of the internet,’ says Claire of the way people behave behind a screen. ‘Dehumanisation (you’re attacking a picture, not a person); deindividuation (you’re part of a mob so you try to fit in with their behaviour to seek approval) and disinhibition (online anonymity makes people feel like their actions will not have consequences.) 

Speaking about her own personal experience of the issue, Cheryl further commented: ‘I am very happy and very healthy. Every woman has a different body type and handles stress and grief differently. I was a ballerina from a child, so I have really good muscle memory. When I work out, I can look like a tennis player. If I don’t, I look different.’ 

Read our full report on laptop sexism in the October issue of Marie Claire, out now.

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