Troll (noun): (in folklore) an ugly cave-dwelling creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf.
Why, you ask, did I start this with a basic dictionary definition of the word troll? Because this word was limited to that, old folklore and fictional tales. But these creatures are now mainstream, and here is what people mean when they say 'troll' today.
Troll: a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.
Again, am I nuts? Why am I going so much into the technicality of this word? Well, that's because I need us to understand what this word means entirely before I talk about what happened a couple days ago on Instagram. Bella Hadid posted a seemingly harmless picture of her and Kendall Jenner side by side, rocking the free-nipple look with a simple caption on who rocked the look better.
Instead of commenting on their fierceness like the rest of their fans, this user @foufiasse on Instagram decided to talk about how "fake" they were and would've liked if they had better personalities. Something, that somehow the user felt comfortable commenting on even though, I am pretty sure, they knew neither Bella nor Kendall personally. Anyway, usually the one to take the high road, this time Bella decided to give them a piece of her mind.
As you'd have it with any troll, the user since then has deleted their comments and made their account private. But here's the thing that exasperates me, the user's bio reads, "Eat yo heart out fam// I'm not jealous of you Bella, sorry if I hit a soft spot sweetheart x". My question is, does anyone ever learn anything out of these exchanges?
It is a prerequisite when you become a celebrity that you have to be okay with all kinds of reactions and also with the fact that people stop seeing the humane side of you. You aren't allowed to have bad days anymore, and emotions are something that you just feel on the screen. Which, kudos to the celebrities, they have accepted beautifully and taken it in their stride but do we have a handle on how much is too much?
Let's come a little closer to home, so many of our Indian celebrities are treated to lewd comments and racist remarks on a daily basis, most of which go unnoticed. But, we have a few killer women who have come out and spoken to the trolls as they should have been. Be it Deepika Padukone's major cleavage controversy in a leading daily or Piggy Chops showing her trolls up when they commented on her inappropriate attire for her meeting with PM Modi. She uploaded a picture with her mom, twinning in dresses and a fierce caption.
Richa Chaddha gave us a stellar example of how to handle these trolls in style when she received some backlash for a misquote. She was on an international red carpet with Fawad Khan and when the reporter asked Fawad Khan about the cultural differences between Pakistan and India. Richa was quick to intervene and comment that North India has more common culturally with Pakistan that with South India. She was of course brutally misquoted and was portrayed as speaking against South Indians. But she knew only knowledge can beat the ignorant.
Thanks for missing the point ❤️I love Tamil so much that I can read and write the language. But troll on!🙌🏽 https://t.co/lbkanCdrYO
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) August 22, 2016
These are faceless trolls but we also have this one particular example of homo sapien who is a celebrity himself but does not refrain from passing lewd comments about Bollywood celebrities. Yes, I am talking about Mr. Kamaal R Khan! He has also been beautifully shut down by everyone from Lisa Haydon, to Sonakshi Sinha to Siddharth Malhotra on numerous occasions.
Some might say celebrities should take the high road and not respond to these malicious trolls but then again, how do you stop them. And while some might consider this as 'light-hearted' fun to just gain attention what about when innocent family members are dragged into the limelight?
Abhishek Bachchan should be called the king of clapbacks because he's always using his wit the right way to deal with these faceless trolls. His logic is also rock solid, he believes that people feel comfortable saying the things that they do because it's Twitter and it's faceless. He is willing to guarantee that most of these people wouldn't be able to say these things to his face. Mr cool also lost his calm when a troll decided that it was funny to involve his daughter in a joke. Bachchan Jr. was quick on the uptake and not at all his chill usual self.
@Mayankaryan084 you feeling better about yourself now??? Good! Glad to have been of service. Now go back to the hole you crawled out of.
— Abhishek Bachchan (@juniorbachchan) June 16, 2015
He even added that if people hate his movies, he's okay with it, he will work harder to produce better content but to be bringing his daughter into the mix was not COOL. This wasn't the only time his daughter was under scrutiny either.
So the question remains, take the high road or respond? Does a response make them any less nasty? And finally have the trolls now taken away from the meaning created for their online persona and are becoming those ugly creatures from old folklore?
Well, until we find out, Bella Hadid, YOU ROCK!
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