Azhar Aziz  |  Singapore
Published 2014-08-07 14:00:32

It all started when celebrity blogger Naomi Neo posted a picture of herself in swimwear, standing right in front of a pool. At first glance, everything looks normal but when scrutinised in greater detail, one may notice a rather embarrassing photo editing blunder – part of the foreground building was liquefied poorly.

Netizens were quick to spot the over-stretched windows just beside Naomi’s left arm, with some mocking the 18-year-old blogger’s photo editing skills. As word of the gaffe spread online, it attracted the attention of more netizens, including feminists who believe that Naomi is setting a poor example to younger girls on the idea of beauty.

Image credit: Naomi Neo Instagram account

Well, Naomi has responded to the latest media craze over her with a strongly-worded Instagram post two days ago. She posted a photo which says ‘w** is wrong with editing photos? C’mon guys find something better to pick on. If you think everything you see online is REAL then you’re pretty delusional’.

Here is an excerpt of the description under the post:

“You keyboard warriors spend days and nights stalking people you claim to “hate,” put in a crazy amount of effort just to hurt others with your mindless, crude remarks and impudent behavior which is totally uncalled for. If you’ve so much time on your hands, use it to think about how you can make the world a better place. What sickens me even more are people who add fuel to the fire – commenting really unnecessary stuff just so that their comment would be screenshot and get them RTs on Twitter. Ask yourself if you’re the real attention seeker or I am.

“… This post isn’t exactly to show how much I care about my haters, but more about how this has made me think a lot on how inhumane people have become; pissed that cyberbullying is encouraged over the recent years as a whole, not just about me alone. How people comment anonymously (or not) on young girls’ accounts, saying they’re too fat, ugly, too thin, whatsoever. It’s saddening. Enough of telling yourself you’re not good enough based on the standards that society has come up with. They are not standards, they are just unrealistic expectations.”

naomi neo
Image credit: Naomi Neo Instagram account

This is the second instance a Gushcloud blogger is put under a negative spotlight, following another episode involving fellow blogger Eunice Annabel.  Naomi though has a larger fan base online – for instance, she has more than 139,000 Instagram followers, compared to Eunice’s about 103,000 figure.

Naomi’s Instagram response post garnered more than 14,000 ‘likes’ with words of encouragement flooding her page’s comments section. She did not, however, dedicate a post for the photo-editing saga on her blog.

Writer’s thoughts:

To me, what Naomi did – photo-editing – is not wrong. Putting things in context, she is a celebrity blogger and it is her duty to look good for her agency not just outside, but also online. Welcome to the entertainment/lifestyle world; looks (or being pleasing to the eyes) are important and will always be part of the package to become successful no matter how much we try to deny it.

Nevertheless, the photo-editing error Naomi did was rather sloppy. It makes me wonder what really happened at that point of time for that photo – was she feeling lazy and decided not to check the picture again before posting it? The end result would appear to be unprofessional and more caution is of course usually expected from such an individual of celebrity status.

Naomi neo
Image credit: Naomi Neo Instagram account

Granted, everyone makes mistakes but if Naomi intends to continue to edit her own photos, then she has to take it more seriously. By the way, based on her blog’s FAQ, she mentioned how she did not use Photoshop as she felt that it is a “crazily complexed software”. Instead, she is using PicMonkey to retouch her pictures.

The next question is: Was she cyberbullied? Naomi did hint at this when she wrote about how she was “pissed that cyberbullying is encouraged”. It is a strong claim, one which I believe has set some people thinking if the reaction to her photo-editing gaffe was indeed a case of e-bullying.

As long as the reaction deviates away from criticising her error and into the act of name-calling, it should be considered as cyberbullying. This is where things get too personal and it never helps when an insult is thrown, not only repeatedly by the same person, but also echoed by a merciless mob.

So fellow netizens, let’s be a little bit more cautious when posting replies and comments online, we don’t want our actions to reflect poorly on ourselves and cause a negative ripple to form.

Also Read: Meet Singapore’s King and Queen of Halal Food Blogging


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