Body positivity blogger Ana Carolina Rojas has nothing to hide, not even the hate she receives from trolls. Which is why she gave one of them a platform over the weekend.
Rojas was minding her own business, enjoying a beautiful, warm day of sunbathing and sharing it with her followers when a troll attacked. “The sun is out. The breeze is soft. The water is cool. The boys are attempting synchronized swimming. Life is so good right now no matter which way you look at it,” she captioned a photo of herself in a pink-and-white bikini top, wearing sunglasses and smiling. She hashtagged things like, #bemorethanabody, #embracethesquish, #keepcalmanditsjustskin and #myswimbody.
With 22.3k followers, of course some of them had to rain on her parade. “Wtf this is a joke,” one follower wrote. Instead of letting the random hater get her down, the mother of two turned it around and showed the world. She reposted the same exact image, this time with the troll’s comment plastered on it, along with her smart response. “No, it really is nice and warm enough to have a pool day. Amazing, huh?” Of course, the commenter truly could have been wondering how she was enjoying the sun while, wherever he or she lived, it was snowing or something. But, unfortunately with the way the Internet works these days, we have a feeling the writer had negative intentions.
It’s one thing to ignore comments, but it’s another to have the courage to showcase them and still not let them get to you. “I showed it to set an example of how we can take situations and flip them around to what we need,” Rojas tells Yahoo Style. The 34-year-old said it has taken her entire life to become secure enough to stand up to trolls. “People will sit and scroll all the way up and down the comments. When I responded to this particular person, I didn’t insult or instigate,” she explained. “I took this as an opportunity to use their words and create something new to serve me better. I chuckled at myself for that one.”
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to negative comments. “Personally, I have seen tons of other accounts where people get downright nasty, but I feel my mom status puts me in a different category in people’s minds.”
By putting that comment on display, Rojas demonstrated how flimsy and weightless these comments are on their own, and her followers appreciate her for that. “I have women constantly telling me that because they saw how I was reacting to stuff they then had the courage to wear bikinis and just enjoy their time with their family and friends. The love and strength we have to build each other up is more powerful than the haphazard attempt people make trying to destroy us by playing to what they believe our fears to be,” she says.
Rojas said it’s unfortunately a part of life that there’s always going to be someone who disagrees with you. “It’s easy to get lost in the frustration, but you need to realize they have no original ideas, so tearing yours down is literally their only option,” she explains. “That 1 percent can drag everyone down until the other 99 realize they are more powerful.”
She also points out that her original post had 115,000 impressions, “so out of 117 comments, 10 or so were similar in troll-y nature. The number is unimpressive as far as negative comments, but that’s how much they can take over a moment. This new one has had 396,000 impressions and 132 comments, with 15 giving a similar response. That’s only 0.0000378788 percent of the people who saw the post that responded in this way. The data doesn’t lie, and I really like those odds that I’m on the right track,” she says.
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