Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
The Internet is one big paradox. On one hand, it's a fabulous platform for expressing yourself, cultivating an image unique to your personality, and, yes, meeting new friends. On the other, it offers an iron veil of anonymity to hide behind, bestowing any given user the privilege of saying whatever's on their mind — hateful or not.
Instead of wallowing in and internalizing the hate mail Lindsay Bottos, a Baltimore-based artist and MICA student, receives, she's thrown it back at the very users who threw it at her. "Anonymous" is her newest venture and its catapulted her to the forefront of the feminist art/online bullying discussion. Bottos explained to BuzzFeed how the anonymous messages she would receive on Tumblr used to "really affect me." A year after turning the anonymous option off, she turned it back on and started storing screen grabs of the messages in a folder. "I decided to put them back into the medium they came from," she explained, "to put them back into Tumblr and to place them over selfies.”
The results can be found after the jump. According to Bottos, since uploading "Anonymous" on January 26, her Tumblr inbox has been flooded with positive messages and new followers. It's a powerful project, and one that illuminates the deluge of hateful words that shoot through the digital airwaves everyday. Though most of the bullying messages Bottos receives come after she posts a selfie, she doesn't plan on stopping. "The act of women taking selfies is inherently feminist, especially in a society that tries so hard to tell women that our bodies are projects to be worked on and a society that profits off of the insecurities that it perpetuates," she says. Amen to that, Bottos, amen. Snap away — you, after all, woke up like this — flawless. (BuzzFeed)