I’ve always been a very open person.
I’m one of those confessional bloggers who shares stories others may consider too personal for the Big Bad Internet. From my very first heartbreak, to my parents’ unexpected divorce, I’ve shared intimate parts of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s cathartic, and writing has been my absolute passion for as long as I can remember.
Perhaps that’s why I didn’t think twice about sharing a drunk selfie on Facebook.
You see, my Saturday night was spent drinking too many vodka sodas at a club with my boyfriend and friends for his 22nd birthday. Like any nightclub anywhere – ever – it was squishy and hot. Too hot. An ‘I’m extremely conscious of my forehead resembling a mirror’ kind of hot.
By midnight, I could feel the beads of sweat forming on my face, the moisture no longer concealed under my heavy-duty foundation. Oh shit, I was shiny. I could feel the shininess in my T-Zone like it was a pulsating fireball. Shit shit shit, those 45 minutes spent trying to make myself look nice 'n' fancy were slipping down the drain. Fast.
But - and this is an important BUT - my absolute favourite Usher song was playing. And I'd be damned if I was forced to leave the dance floor to de-shine by shnoz and fivehead. Not. Happening. There was only one thing to do: I would haphazardly powder up on the d-floor, like the breezy, low maintenance gal I am.
'Just a few dabs should do the trick. Too easy,' I smugly said to myself, like I was a Napoleon Perdis incarnate.
I spent the next hour bopping around, making trips to and from the bar, and chatting with acquaintances from high school. And then - THEN - after sixty freaking minutes of blissful ignorance, a stranger grabbed me by the arm and laughed, "Um, I think there's something on your face."
I took a photo to investigate. And subsequently posted it to Facebook.
Hilarious, right?! I mean I look like a downright idiot; like a (very powdery, very drunk) deer in headlights. 'People will giggle at this,' I thought on Sunday, thinking only of my mum and close mates. "They will freakin' LOVE this."
It turns out a lot of people giggled. Two THOUSAND people giggled, in fact. And my ridiculous, very intoxicated selfie? It has since been seen by tens of thousands of people.
"This reminds me of you on New Years!" the early commenters wrote, others laughed "OMG this is so something we'd do!", and "I can SO relate to this!"
In the first few hours, I was pretty chuffed with the whole situation. 'Look at me,' I mused to my girlfriends, 'I'm practically The Queen of The Internet'. But while I was daydreaming about my future life as a mega celebrity and driving something more exxy than my crappy Holden Barina, things took a turn. My selfie branched out wider across the Internet, reaching spaces I have never before touched, and what happened is something I never expected.
The comments weren't just a shade of bright, happy yellow anymore. Mostly, the new comments were darker. They were meaner. Edgier, nastier, brutal. All of a sudden, those happy yellow comments were interspersed with black ones.
"You're just a slut trying to cover up the fact she's a slut," the first of them read. I double blinked, thinking I had misread my little iPhone screen. But no, I had it right. A stranger, 'Mike', was calling me a slut. For taking... a drunk... makeup selfie?