Many people post photos of themselves on social media in various types of situations – living their everyday lives at home, going on vacations, and their major life events. And we all love showcasing our talents as well, whether it’s cooking a delicious looking dish, working on a DIY project, or skillfully making someone over with makeup.
When we share our pictures with the world, we realize many people can see them. But sometimes we don’t get just how far the extent of this can actually go. One picture, or one video, can suddenly catch wind and spread like wildfire to become totally viral. When we upload our pictures, we don’t really expect the whole world to see them. We don’t expect them to spread all over the internet and reach people from other countries. And we certainly don’t expect them to become memes.
But such is the internet today. Nothing is really private, and all it takes it a few clicks of a button to make something public to everyone. In the age of the internet, you can become from anonymous to famous overnight. Just look at Justin Bieber, who posted YouTube videos of himself singing covers, and was suddenly discovered by his manager to turn him into a teenage sensation. There are so many stories of people who became famous worldwide thanks to the internet.
On the other side of the coin, are people who’ve been made famous for all the wrong reasons. All they did was post a picture and before they knew it, it went viral and put them to shame. Hundreds and even thousands of comments were made from complete strangers, making these people want to go into hiding – after having done nothing wrong. Nothing, but post an innocent picture of themselves.
This is what happened to Ashley VanPevenage, who had a friend do her makeup and post the before-and-after picture online. It took only days for the picture to spread all over the web. Ashley became a meme, and reduced to a joke. She couldn’t get away from the picture of hers, that was everywhere, or from the mean comments she was forced to encounter.
So she did the only thing she could – she fought back. Ashley became an advocate against hate, online shaming, and cyber bullying. She used her story in order to help other people, and has come a long way since she was the victim of this cruel internet tale.