Thursday 27 April 2017

Daniella Moyles: ‘Keep your bodyshaming to yourself’

Don't let online bullies try to dictate to you how you live - or the clothes that you wear, says Daniella Moyles

Daniella Moyles . Photo: David Conachy
Daniella Moyles . Photo: David Conachy
Daniella Moyles pictured on TV3's The Seven O'Clock Show
Model behaviour: Daniella on a visit to Syria

Daniella Moyles

I spent the majority of my late teens and early 20s as a lingerie model - doing everything from the infamous Grafton Street photocalls to campaigns for our most reputable retailers.

In all that time the only 'trolling' I ever encountered was the negative commentary I'd inflict upon myself. Having hung up my stockings to move into the glamorous world of radio, it's strange that now is when I'd have to address the crime of showing too much skin.

Daniella Moyles with John Sheahan from The Dubliners on the Seven O'Clock Show
Daniella Moyles with John Sheahan from The Dubliners on the Seven O'Clock Show

You see, recently I made an appearance on TV3's Seven O'Clock Show to discuss a trip I was very privileged to have taken with Concern Worldwide to meet Syrian refugees living in Lebanon. The men, women and children I met there moved me in a way I have never experienced.

Their stories of destitution and despair were surprisingly too easy to relate to, to take comfort in the distance that usually separates us from them. I met courage and hope in the face of endless war and mindless loss of family members and friends.

READ MORE: 'Don't let my fashion choices or very tiny cleavage distract from what I was there to highlight' - Daniella Moyles' responds to criticism of TV3 appearance

I met a burning fight for dignity and incredible generosity, welcoming us into makeshift homes with the little food they had to offer while telling us of their dreams to return home to Syria. But how could anyone pay attention to the retelling of these stories when I was wearing a low-cut jumpsuit parading my offensive B-cups at dinnertime?

TV3 received several complaints and I spent the following few days experiencing the joys of online abuse for the first time. Everyone has the right to argue that it wasn't my finest fashion choice, but no one has the right to label me a "prostitute", call me "disgusting" or accuse me of premeditated "attention-seeking".

I was told it was "inappropriate for the time-slot" or "inappropriate for the topic". But what's missing here is that your perception is not my problem and I happened to feel comfortable and confident in that outfit.

At 27 I'm happy I've developed the necessary inner monologue to laugh when someone tells me the sight of my chest has turned them off their dinner, but what if that wasn't the case?

How is it that we can tune into EastEnders at 7.30pm to watch a man strangle his own mother but half-an-hour earlier the mere glimpse of some cleavage is considered shocking?

It comes down to social norms, or what the majority perceives to be acceptable behaviour.

I'm not exactly from the same school of liberation as Kim Kardashian, but I absolutely support the idea that telling anyone how to use or dress their body is ignorant, unwelcome and an all too common practice that needs to be left promptly in the past.

At the very least Kim has, intentionally or otherwise, brought this discussion into mass media.

Women far too often fall victim to social judgment and loud cries of what is or isn't acceptable for them - but getting caught in the trap of perfectionism or people-pleasing will only get in the way of your big, beautiful, fleeting life.

Don't let it happen. Dress however you want and know that you can do whatever you want while dressed that way.

Sunday Independent

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