Urban Decay Cosmetics is launching “Online Bullying Hurts IRL,” a global initiative that pledges to bring deeper awareness to the personal toll of online bullying and promote digital wellbeing in partnership with The Cybersmile Foundation.
The Cybersmile Foundation, one of the world’s leading anti-cyberbullying nonprofit organizations and a multi-award-winning nonprofit organization committed to promoting kindness, diversity and inclusion online, will be working closely with Urban Decay to guide and educate the brand’s consumers, fans and corporate community across the brand’s website and social channels over the next three years.
Cyberbullying has festered online and across social media platforms since their very development, with more than 50% of young adults personally subjected to harassing behavior online* What can feel like a casual mean text, a meme about someone who’s just “different,” or sharing an embarrassing photo without someone’s permission, can have real consequences and potentially lead to mental health issues.
The core of this global initiative is to recognize the very tangible and negative impacts that result from both seemingly innocent teasing to very severe, obvious bullying. Urban Decay Cosmetics is striving to help make the Internet and social media a space that is safe for all, educating its consumers, fans and employees to recognize the signs, responsibly intervene and positively change the conversation. As part of the campaign, Urban Decay Cosmetics will be partnering with select influencers to share personal stories of their experiences with online bullying. Fans and followers will be encouraged to comment a heart emoji on these posts to show their support. For each heart shared on brand’s Instagram post, Urban Decay Cosmetics will donate $1 to the organization to support its mission, up to a $150,000 donation through September 24th.
“It is within the core DNA of Urban Decay Cosmetics that we celebrate what makes us unique, challenging the social norms of beauty. We encourage beauty to be real, unexpected, and most importantly, a tool for unleashing our most authentic selves. Everyone should have the equal right to enjoy a connected world where we feel free and safe to express our individuality,” says Global President of L’Oréal Luxe Brands, Cheryl Vitali.
In a survey of over 1,000 respondents based in the United States, 55% have noted they’ve felt afraid to express who they are because of the fear of online bullying. Additionally, 76% of those who shared they’ve experienced online bullying noted the harassment was targeted based on their appearance. *
“We can tackle cyberbullying and celebrate the uniqueness and individuality within each of us. We are a brand that has always championed what makes us different, and we want to encourage that no one should diminish what makes them beautifully different in the face of a bully,” says Urban Decay Cosmetics Founding Partner Wende Zomnir.
“Cybersmile is proud and excited to partner with Urban Decay Cosmetics to tackle the growing problem of cyberbullying and online abuse on a global level. This partnership will enable us to positively impact huge numbers of people with hope, education and support for a wide range of issues affecting people online. We look forward to working together to highlight that we can all be changemakers in some capacity while empowering people to deal with cyberbullying effectively and confidently as an intended target and bystander,” says Scott Freeman, CEO of Cybersmile.
Throughout this 3-year partnership, Urban Decay Cosmetics and The Cybersmile Foundation will work closely to develop education and support resources for important issues including cyberbullying, mental health and digital wellbeing – all designed to ensure the brand’s community is always a welcoming, inclusive and safe space. Visit www.urbandecay.com/stoponlinebullying for more information.
If you, or someone you know need immediate help, please click on the link here to find local hotlines in your country. Cybersmile’s free-to-all education modules for a wide range of topics related to life online can also be explored here.