A paramedic has spoken out about the shocking backlash she received after sharing a photograph of herself in uniform wearing a full face of makeup.
In March this year, at the height of the pandemic, NHS worker Laura Heath, from Staffordshire, tweeted a selfie. She couldn’t have guessed the harsh criticism that was to follow, with cruel trolls laying into her for simply wearing makeup.
Many of the comments consisted of personal remarks about Laura’s appearance. Others took it a step further, and actually placed blame on Laura for the rising death toll among coronavirus patients.
Fortunately, 24-year-old Laura also received plenty of supportive comments, with many people expressing gratitude for the important work she was doing at such a difficult time. However, as far too many of us know, the hurtful comments tend to stick longer than the kind ones.
Now, five months on, Laura has looked back on the nasty comments during an interview with , opening up about how she was affected.
People were being really supportive and I got lots of messages and lots of compliments and it was great.
But slowly I had a backlash of hate and abuse, commenting on my makeup and appearance and saying I was the reason for the death toll rising and they wouldn’t be treated by someone like me.
Laura proceeded to explain that she had been feeling ‘a bit low in confidence’ when she took the selfie, and had shared the picture as a way of expressing pride in her work.
According to Laura:
I posted the picture because it was my own personal profile and I sometimes post pictures of myself in or out of uniform.
I felt a bit low in confidence, it was the middle of the pandemic, and I had a proud moment. I wanted to post a picture in uniform saying I’m proud of my job and what I do.
My job is my number one priority. And I am young, I’m 24, I feel like I’m allowed to post a picture if I want to. I don’t know why that makes me such a bad person.
Going forward, Laura is now helping to raise awareness about the effects of cyber bullying on a person’s mental health, and is even planning a sponsored sky dive for the Cybersmile Foundation.
Writing on her Just Giving page, Laura explained that she would ‘never want anyone to experience or go through’ what she did, adding:
I am doing this jump for anyone who has felt like their not good enough as a result of social media.
I am petrified of heights and I do not like flying so I am really facing my fears although I am hoping by doing this, I make the world a little bit of a better place. In a world where we can be anything, be kind.
Laura has had to deal with so much over the last few months. Working on the frontline during a global health crisis, she should in no way have to be subjected to such cruelty. Thank you Laura, both for your brave service and inspirational strength of character when standing up to bullies.
You can sponsor Laura for yourself here