Beth Tweddle on the red carpet [Getty]
She faced a barrage of sexist and misogynistic tweets during a Q&A session on Twitter last week. But now, in an exclusive interview with Grazia, Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle has revealed she won’t let the twitter trolls stop her.
“If you let things phase you then what’s the point in being out there?” she says. “At the end of the day, it’s my choice to be on things like Twitter and Facebook, and for me, it’s always been a positive thing. Just because of one incident, it’s not going to change that.’
The Everyday Sexism Project highlighted the abuse last week and in this week’s issue of Grazia, founder Laura Bates said, “So many women in the public eye are facing this kind of vitriolic backlash day in, day out – all based on nothing other than their gender.”
As the story made headlines, the bronze medal winner was overwhelmed with support from the public, leading to some of the trolls apologising. Beth said, “Quite a few of them tweeted me personally saying, ‘look, we’re really sorry, we didn’t mean any offensive by it, it was a stupid thing to do’.”
Beth won bronze at London 2012 [Getty]
And she has advice for anyone else being trolled. “Don’t try and retaliate on the internet. It’s not the best way to go about it. It is hard sometimes to see those messages and ignore it, but that’s the way I’ve always dealt with it. It’s a bit like when you’re at school. If something got said, you came home and you were a little bit upset, then your mum and dad would say, ‘just ignore it’. I’ve found that’s the best way to deal with it on Twitter.”
Beth has signed up to support the Safer Internet Day on 11 February in a bid to raise awareness for children who are being cyberbullied.
Read our story, 'These trolls are lonely attention seekers', in this week’s issue of Grazia, on sale now.
Words: Hanna Ibraheem