Last year, blogger Nabela Noor posted a makeup tutorial.
In the video, the beauty blogger, who frequently was cyberbullied, wrote hateful comments from internet trolls in contour cream on her face. The video went viral — and changing the blogger’s life in a big way.
Now, in an editorial for Glamour U.K.‘s #BlendOutBullying campaign, the blogger speaks about the one comment that changed it all for her: “If I looked like you, I would kill myself.”
“I’ve been told to kill myself because of how I look, have been called a waste of space for how I look, but another human being telling me that if they looked like me, they would be so appalled that they would choose not to exist at all? That was new. And it stung,” she wrote.
Noor, who says her experience with bullies dates back to grade school, explains how appearing in the public eye as an influencer required lifelong training in the world of bullies.
“Here’s the thing — I have been bullied for my appearance for as long as I can remember. From being criticized for my weight as a young girl by my own relatives, to being called ‘fat’ or an ‘elephant’ in classrooms from as early as the third grade; my appearance has always been a topic of conversation. Being a figure in the public eye is no exception,” she wrote.
“I guess you can say I was training for this job since I was little because the reality is that this social media gig comes with so much bullying that it can break you if you let it.”
Noor also says that when she shares photos of herself looking comfortable and confident, she’s accused of promoting obesity.
Eventually, the hateful comments she received began to affect her on a deeper level.
“It was around the time that I received comments like ‘If I looked like you, I would kill myself’ that I knew I needed to address my bullies directly. I needed them to know that their words did not define me. I defined me. This is what birthed the video that changed my life forever,” she wrote.
The response to the video empowered Noor and inspired major brands like Olay and IT Cosmetics to work with her. She made a vow to herself to never stay quiet again when it comes to trolls.
“I didn’t expect the video to launch a wave of responses and recreations. The fact that it did empower me and reminded me of the power of using your voice and standing up for what you believe in,” wrote Noor.
While she said the video didn’t put a full stop to bullies’ comments, she said it did help her reclaim her body. Now, she feels it’s more important than ever to spread her message of body positivity.
“Blending out the cruel words others have called me did not put a stop to the bullying, but it allowed me to reclaim the control over my own body and my own self. Blending out the bullying set me free. I was no longer held captive by the words of others,” she wrote.
“I knew my truth. I knew my worth. I knew that my reflection in the mirror was beautiful and valid, and deserved to be celebrated. My biggest hope is for others to join me, because it feels great to be free.”