“I’ve learned to ignore the online trolls in the comments.”
Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez is powerful, sweet, and a total inspiration who always seems to have a smile on her face. So who would think that anyone would ever have rude comments to post about her online? In a new interview, the athlete shared that she comes across plenty of cyberbullies on her social media platforms, but has found some solutions to dealing with them.
“Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, they can be really harsh places,” Laurie told People magazine. “People feel some sense of empowerment, whether good or bad, when they are behind a screen and a username.”
Unfortunately, a common form of cyberbullying that many high-profile athletes face is body-shaming. Haters constantly have negative comments to make about their size, shape, muscles, and more — which Laurie says she manages to shrug off through the help of her gymnastics teammates.
“It happens in sports, but thankfully my teammates are so kind and supportive,” she shared. “We all stand with each other, you have to, because kindness wins.”
That’s a great philosophy! Plus, Laurie is adamant that she isn’t going to let online haters stop her from posting things on her accounts, especially since she enjoys sharing with her fans!
“I’m always on social media, of course, so I’ve learned to ignore the online trolls in the comments, because I’ve realized that if you met that person in real life, they would never say that to your face.”
It’s so true that leaving a comment can feel way less personal than striking up a conversation with a real-life human being, and often times, this anonymous interaction can make bullies feel bolder. Laurie has a really positive attitude about combatting hateful comments through kindness, and found much success in leaning on her friends and teammates for support as they’re going through similar situations.
Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski