It’s not banter – it’s bullying!

It saddens me that an Olympian like Rebecca Adlington, who brought our country so much glory, has been rumoured to have had work done to her ‘dolphin like’ nose.  The celeb appeared on the hit TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ last year, to be mocked, ridiculed and embarrassed nationally. Whoever said, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me” was completely wrong. Words can hurt. Relentless teasing can be devastating to anyone.

Frankie Boyle, a man known for his controversial opinions, who I must say has no right to comment on anybody’s features, tweeted to his huge 1.5million fan base “I worry that Rebecca Adlington will have an unfair advantage in the swimming by possessing a dolphins face” – during the series.  Cruel comments hurt, and I think people forget that these kinds of remarks are not funny, they are not banter, and they are bullying someone to make them feel as though they are not good enough.

Society today proves that we live in a world where you are constantly being judged and having a good heart is simply not good enough.  Rebecca has said in the past ‘why do people judge me on my looks? It’s not like I’m trying to be a super model?’ And that’s exactly it, why DO, people judge her on her looks and not the fact she is an amazingly talented Olympic swimmer.

It appears that years of teasing and taunting has finally taken its toll on Britain’s number one swimmer.  Rebecca told the diary camera on I’m a Celeb “Every day I look in the mirror and go, god I’m not pretty, I’ve got a very big nose”. I think the public should take a minute to think that maybe if her imperfections where not thrown about in national newspapers for the world to see, she would have never contemplated plastic surgery. Without the constant teasing, maybe she would have seen a gorgeous and powerful woman, like many others see.

I just hope that the surgery brings her the peace and self-confidence that she deserves. How can people blame her for taking this route when they make such cruel comments?  If we insist on prioritising women’s appearance over talent, how will other sportswomen want to represent our country if they are constantly worrying that their achievements may be over shadowed by their looks?

Francesca Sloan

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