I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship which predates online dating. Although I have had a little flutter with some of the Tinder-style dating apps, as I used to write for an online dating brand, my experience is pretty limited. However, I think you’d have to be living under a rock not to know that men can be pretty grim on dating sites. From dick pics and insults, all the way to death threats, a lot of women don’t feel safe online.
The following exchange has been doing the rounds on social media, of this woman who was abused for her choice of profile photos.
The sad thing is, I don’t even feel surprised by his entitled response to the images of herself she chooses to put on her own space, or by the disgusting way he speaks to her. The entire website ByeFelipe is a testament to how difficult it is to navigate dating online without coming up against creeps time and time again.
But then… ASOS came along and made my week. In response to this viral photo, the company decided to put the woman in question up on their website, as one of the models for this dress. (Check it out, just swipe to the second picture.)
And yet, I’ve seen so many people disparage the act as ‘a PR stunt’ and dismiss it outright.
Sure, the choice to put her on the site is probably great for PR. Especially as ASOS have some fantastic campaigns about celebrating non-photoshopped women and bodies recently. But why can’t it be great for PR and also just… great?
We have an online world where people are so often mean to each other, both publicly and privately. They don’t look to support and celebrate, regardless of whether they would get good press doing it or not.
So hey, here’s an idea. Once we’re inundated with people being kind in the name of PR, selfishly driven acts of humanity that do a ton of good, then let’s turn our attention to worrying about not having enough selfless good deeds online shall we?
I for one, am celebrating a public ‘up yours’ to anyone who thinks it’s still ok to clothes or body shame other people. And if ASOS, a company that truly puts that message front and centre wants to benefit from a PR opportunity that gets that word out far and wide? Well, I’m sure as heck gonna write a blog that helps them do it.