Thursday 29 June 2017

Beautician responsible for RTE Today's 'eyeliner fail' on cyber bullying: 'I was torn apart'

Today presenters Maura Derrane and Daithi O Se
Today presenters Maura Derrane and Daithi O Se
The 'liner gate' segment on RTE's Today programme
The 'liner gate' segment on RTE's Today programme
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

An Irish beautician who went viral for all the wrong reasons has said she's been cyber bullied.

Mary O'Donnell, a beauty therapist, has been in the industry for 30 years and landed a gig as a makeup guru on RTE's Today programme earlier this year.

The 'liner gate' segment on RTE's Today programme
The 'liner gate' segment on RTE's Today programme

In February, she was responsible for an unfortunate mishap while applying makeup, which she dubbed 'liner gate' and went viral last week when a vine of her over-applying liquid eyeliner began circulating online. 

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on 2FM earlier today, the businesswoman said her life as she knew it changed overnight when the video gained traction online.

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"It was nerve wracking, it was all very new to me," she described the incident, in which she over applied eyeliner due to a shaky hand, which she puts down to nerves. My hands started to shake and shook uncontrollably. My nervous took the better of me. I made a complete and utter balls of it, I made a really big mistake and it was awful. That evening, it went on Twitter and I saw it - it was really, really bad."

But Ms O'Donnell said the crew on set were supportive and told her to come back bigger and better the following week and not let the makeup mishap define her. Filming for the show wrapped in April, which made it all the more surprising for her when the clip resurfaced last week.

"People were putting up on it, 'Let's make this go viral', then three Irish websites shared it and put me out there to be torn apart by whoever wanted to. The comments kept increasing and became nastier," she explained.

"It was eyeliner and I made a mistake. But what followed was unbelievable. Every part of me was torn apart - the way I looked, the way I spoke, how I got to the job I was doing. All the comments were just absolutely vile."

She then highlighted the psychological and emotional impact of public mockery online, a sentiment which Ryan echoed, saying the the internet has turned into a vicious "schoolyard" with commentators.

The 'liner gate' segment on RTE's Today programme
The 'liner gate' segment on RTE's Today programme

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"This week it's my story, next week it'll be someone else's and next we'll be talking about someone who isn't in the world anymore because of it," she added. 

Ms O'Donnell explained that she was "live entertainment" on Friday night as she scrolled through "vile" comments on social media and said she's struggling to go about her day to day life now, even fearing for taunts her children may receive in school for her error.

"It was really cringe and awful. It looked like it went live on Friday, whereas this happened in February," she told Tubridy..

"I was live entertainment on Friday night, I was well up there with you on Friday night.

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"Yesterday, I was going to take some of my power back. I got in touch with the journalist who started it all. I haven't collected my kids from school yet, I haven't slept, I'm paler than pale.

"I know it wasn't personal, but at the end of the day I am a person.

"When people click, it has to be with a conscience. Because it will be somebody else the week after. You don't need to be a child to be cyber bullied, it can happen at any age."

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