A young journalist has written of her struggles as a beautiful person. The online backlash has not been, well, pretty.
“I’m a girly girl. I’m 5-foot-5 with blonde hair, big hazel eyes, 34DDs, and toned calves. You can typically find me in heels and a dress or a skirt.”
So begins an article that’s prompting a tidal wave of angry online responses this week.
The article, by 20-year-old university student Felicia Czochanski, was published by US Cosmopolitan on Friday.
Since then, it has been shared more than 12,000 times in its original form and picked up by media outlets across the UK, the US, Australia and elsewhere.
Czochanski’s article begins by describing her struggle with constant sleazy ogling and street harassment.
“Imagine how it feels to have heads turn and all eyes on you when you are simply trying to get to where you need to be,” she wrote.
“It doesn’t make me feel beautiful or sexy. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me. The scrutiny is never-ending.”
The young blogger, who is also an editorial intern at Good Housekeeping, goes on to describe how her peers sometimes define her only by her looks.
“People seemed to forget or simply ignore my accomplishments. They disregarded the fact that I’m an athlete, I’m intelligent, and I’m incredibly ambitious,” she explains.
At the end of the piece, Czochanski wrote that she’s decided to not respond to catcallers, in an effort to rob them of any power.
“I demand to be respected, both my body and my mind, because believe it or not, there’s more to me than just my looks,” she said.
A fair enough conclusion? You would think so.
But in a cruel irony, the young writer’s complaints about being judged have been met with yet more judgement.
Social media users have posted thousands of scathing, personal attacks in response to the article — with many criticising not just Czochanski’s choice of topic, but her appearance itself.