I have been conflicted as to whether or not to post about the topic of “online haters.”  I hesitate to give energy to negativity.  I came to the decision that I wanted to write about this topic because it has been a measure of growth for me to observe my reaction to this form of disparagement.

I have seldom experienced unwelcome comments, but after my post on Beauty Underground Magazine, I received two emails which used derogatory terms in response to my photos and self-expression.  It surprised me, but it didn’t get below the surface of my self-worth.

It’s difficult to understand why anyone would take the time and expend the energy to intend harm to another, online or in person.  The internet provides anonymity for those who have the desire to act out their negativity.  Comments are written that would seldom be said face-to-face.  Much could be written about the varying reasons for this behavior, but for the purposes of this post I will focus on my internal response.   

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me or appreciate my style and self expression. However, since I believe words and behavior to be infectious, why not spread the virus of kindness and empathy?  

I experienced the first negative comments on my blog about five months after I launched Style Crone.  This occurred during Nelson’s last hospitalization before his death.  The comments “cut like a knife” and devastated me for several days.  In my vulnerable state it added to the pain that I was already carrying.  But I did not quit blogging and I continued to move forward despite the hurt that I felt at that time.

These most recent verbal assaults were just another blip on the screen and I did not take them to heart. I realize how much I’ve grown and how much stronger I have become after blogging for nearly nine years and throwing myself into the unknown on other social media platforms, such as Instagram, etc. I owe this increase in self confidence to Style Crone, the bloggers that I love, and the wonderful followers that are loyal and supportive.

Perhaps negativity comes with the territory of engaging online and opening myself up by sharing photos and commentary. I would say that 99% of what happens out here in the blogging universe is positive and inspiring. I have no regrets.

Photos By Daniel

What are your thoughts about online haters? If you are on social media and this has been an issue for you, how do you deal with this phenomenon? 

I’m wearing a long multicolored jacket from a trade show in NYC;  a maxi dress and jacket from Berkeley, California; earrings from a vintage shop in Paris, a vintage necklace and vintage gloves from estate sales; and a fabric hat from Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I treasure the pieces that I discover over the years during my travels and my adventures here in Denver.

Linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb, and Cherie’s Shoe and Tell Fashion Link Up HERE at Style Nudge.

44 Comments

  1. Beautifully said, Judith. All of us who’ve been blogging for years have had negative commenters. How cruel for you that you were criticized while Nelson was ill.

    I agree, the light wins out, and most people are kind. And I agree it’s imperative that we not let nay-sayers stop us from doing what we choose.

    You personally are a beacon of positivity and good spirit. And so darned stylish too, xox

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that anyone could possibly come up with a hateful thing to say about you or what you’re wearing, Judith. You spread nothing but good, good, good vibrations. Long live love.

  3. You’re an amazing inspiration Judith, unfortunately there are some people who get their fun out of being negative and trying to bring people down, I also don’t understand this need to spread negativity but it’s obviously their problem, not ours. Keep brightening our day, I love your style.

  4. I LOVE your blog. You have amazing style and energy. I want to be you when I grow up! Thank you for being YOU! I am so sorry that haters post. They seem to stalk bloggers, doesn’t matter what the topic is. I always wonder why they bother to subscribe. It’s so easy to hit that unsubscribe button and go away. I try not to get sucked into their negative energy. Usually, I email the blogger and ask them to delete the comments. No point in spreading venom. Keep up your positive spirit. I’ll keep following you.

  5. I think people who spread vitriol to others reveal more about their own internal state than they assume. If you are full of joy, confidence, and purpose, you have no hateful thoughts about others. Your freedom and joyful self expression must be very threatening to them.

  6. It wounds because you are sensitive. You are beautiful because of your sensitivity. Never loose it. You give us so much joy and pleasure.

  7. I have been following your blog for years. You are an inspiration and I appreciate your comments above: As Martin Luther King Jr. said, hate can never obliterate hate; only love can. Thank you for being you!

  8. The only explanation (I see) for someone leaving negative comments to kill your joy is that they are so sad themselves. Perhaps I am being too kind to hope that they don’t realise what effect they are leaving. So it is all about them and not you. And anyway, who made them boss of the world? Personally I am mindful not to leave an opinion on anyones post about something that is not to my taste. It does have a negative effect on the poster who loved their outfit/house/whatever. So positive comment or no comment I say 🙂

  9. I read the article, saw the incredible photos and cannot fathom how anyone could find anything negative about you, the images, dresses or text. There is not a single negative or controversial thing there! Some people are just plain nasty and terrible as they lead unhappy, insecure and unfulfilling lives. Instead of going out and making the world a better place with their presence, they choose to try to hit- out to hurt and disparage others. You are the one who has the true beauty of spirt and bravo to you for bringing light and smiles to us all. You are so much “above” these nasty people- really, we should pity them. Keep doing what you do!!☀️☀️☀️

  10. While regrettable on so many levels, I prefer to have the information. It’s revealing. I’d rather know who and what I’m really dealing with. It helps me to know which people I should devote time and space to in my life and the ones for whom I have no time or interest. I decided a long time ago, I’d rather face the disappointment and deal with reality than labor under illusions. I have less and less time for people who don’t add positive value to my life.

  11. Such a shame that people choose to spread negativity and cannot open their eyes to the beauty that is in front of them.

    I’ve been lucky not to have many negative comments but I don’t have many followers either. I think the more popular you become the more you will have to deal with this kind of thing. I’m glad you are choosing to focus on the positive.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

  12. My mother used to tell us, “…if you can’t say say something nice, then say nothing at all.” While I did see your blog post on Underground Beauty Magazine and found the images stunning, I rarely read the comments-in part because of what you describe as “online haters” and what I term as old-fashioned bullying. I have witnessed it since the early days of graphical browser interface access & communication and I decided in the mid-1990s to disengage with that type of behavior. I feel ungracious comments say more about the person making the comment than the object of the comment. Bullying is bullying, no matter the format. So, please don’t take it to heart—focus on the 99% positive and let the other 1% dissipate in the ether

  13. My heart sank when I read this post. There is so much hate in the world that it should not be unnecessarily added to. The brightness of your smile and the colorful photos were the right antidote.

  14. Sadly, there are people who carry a lot of negativity, insecurity, feelings of inferiority. They use online venues. to relieve themselves of negative energy. When. I see. this type of behavior, I feel pity. They must be miserable people. Rise above it as my mama always said.

  15. Haters are sad creatures. They hate themselves first and most. They try to disgorge it onto to the people they envy but their self hatred doesn’t lessen. Judith Boyd, Style Crone brings joy, beauty and a keen sense of humor into my life. I enjoy every blog she releases.

  16. I love your blog! It’s the ultimate of self expression and you should be proud of the joy you bring others! Love the hats!!! Keep doing the great job you do!!

  17. Hello my remarkable friend ! This topic could not be more appropriate as I have experienced same. I think it has something to do with evolutionary psychology as we are all really a part of the greater animal kingdom . It may be that fight or flight thing but I’ve often pondered why the sting of a negative comment lingers even though it’s way out of proportion to the 99.9 portion of positivity ! It just doesn’t make logical sense and yet it hurts just the same ! As artists we tend to be high on the empathetic side which also makes us more vulnerable . And I often don’t respond at all because I don’t want to fuel the fire as you expressed re the negative energy . You inspire me by sharing and I draw strength from you in that you refuse to let that dampen your creative expression . It gives me hope and courage to remain vulnerable on the insta platform !!!! I love you Judith!

  18. Your outfit is stunning. Your decision for dealing with negative comments is perfect. When a bully does not receive the intended reaction, they move on.

  19. You brighten my day every time
    I read one of your posts I am inspired. Marie-claire from the land down under

  20. I love all the responses here. Each loving, different angles and observations of the same beast. The haters are wounded, and they see our bright light as being big enough that they can steal some, even though it will not work for them. To swat at our energy and expression is mean and it does hurt. It does cut like a knife. The comments need to be ghosted immediately, working on breathing the energy in to useable power that actually strengthens our resolve. Thank you for writing this, and so well.

  21. Dear Judith,
    As you, all of us, can read from the supportive comments above, non of us can truly understand why a person would respond to anyone with such rudeness, It just does make sense to those who create joy and spread creativity. Unfortunately, there are unhappy, not well people who choose to spread negativity and hurt others. I applaud that you shared this most unfortunate incident because I believe by talking about this, it weakens the impact any of this type of bulling, harassment for all of us . Your positive attitude, strength, powerful energy, grace and did I mention impeccable style is now and always will be an inspiration to so many. Here is to you continuing to “spread” the light, bring joy and touching so many. Please add my name to the many who “love you”!!!! Sheryl

  22. Miserable people cannot enjoy the beauty offered them and get a negative charge from playing the spoiler role. Whenever possible, I block and ban them. Their loss, not mine or yours. Love your beautiful and joyous content!

  23. So sorry to hear that negativity has occasionally reared its head when you share your gifts of beauty and creativity. It truly is something sad or wrong going on in the detractor’s world. Onward!!

  24. Oh, good grief. Some people really do need to get a life. As Michelle B. said (more or less) “when they go low, we go high”. So go high, dear Judith, and know that you are appreciated beyong measure.

    Your style, charm and fabulous photographs bring pleasure and joy to hundreds of us. The haters are just fluff under the bed of life.

  25. This is the first time that I’m posting a comment on your wonderful blog, I felt compelled to support you, and to say how right you are to talk about online hatred. It all boils down to envy, people who instead of thinking ” I want to be like Judith, bright and beautiful and brave, so I will strive to be so”, turn their envy into jealousy and hatred because they have serious problems in their heads and couldn’t ever be like you. Like anonymous letters, online hatred is their way of hurting others as much as they hurt themselves. Just carry on being yourself, that is the best answer, you are a shining star in our sky.

  26. How horrid for you – I hope you can see from the comments that you are loved and admired and I think wonderful role model for us all. The people who are critical of you, of you all people, are really not worth thinking about.

    Know that you are a beautiful person and fabulous x

  27. Online haters tend to be folks that have no real human associations and are expressing their anger at the world. It’s not really anger at you or what you are expressing, it’s more of an anger that they see you being fulfilled by creativity and they are not. Obviously they are following you and hopefully they will see these comments. My only words to them are, put down the smartphone, pick up a book or paint a picture or sew something or even just bake some cupcakes. Find a creative outlet however small and the world will open up and surround you with joy.
    Keep blogging! You remind us all that our age is not stopping us from being joyful and creative!,

  28. My dear Judith, you are a beacon of light, grace and beauty. Love your blog and photos of gorgeous clothes and hats. You are a tremendous inspiration to those of us that have seen many moons. Go forth and remember ‘ laissez le bon temps rouler ‘.

    p.s. Definition of hater – JEALOUS !! !!

  29. Just joined…saw the article in 5280 magazine..love love love your clothes..just moved to Colorado at the age of 74..also a widow..starting a new life..I have a similar style. Can not wait for your blogs.

  30. We just seem to live in such mean-spirited times. You’ve always been such a beacon of kindness, openness, and positivity, and I’ll never understand the urge some people have to be cruel.

    I’ve had a bit of an uptick in snarky commenters lately; maybe it’s the time of year or maybe people are just frustrated with the state of the world and taking it out where they can. I don’t know, but I think we just need to keep cultivating a positive and supportive space for each other.

  31. Jealousy is a terrible thing! As the song goes “Teach your Children well”. Unfortunately not all teach this lesson. Teaching one to not judge a book by it’s cover, but to take the time to look within is a lesson lost on many. Best to just feel sorry for these people, wish them well and move on. Strong brave women,, comfortable and proud to be in their own skin can be very scary and intimidating to some. Too bad for them. You are beautiful on the outside, but it is your kindness and your inner light and sense of self that really shines. Rock on!

  32. Judith, I’ve been acquainted with you for
    close to 40 years now, so I have witnessed your evolution. You have always had a unique and artful sense of style that I have both envied and admired.
    In addition to that aspect of the person you are, I can attest to the innate kindness that is as second nature to you as the artful way in which you express yourself.
    You inspire and encourage others without thought or question. You have so much love to share, that I feel sad for the few who cannot accept it. Thank you for the beauty and light that you bring to so many, including me.

  33. Hello ma’am,
    I follow your blog and also it re-tweets, etc. Yes! Haters! LOL! At first I was thinking “I am a nice, good person, why were people hating me?” This never started until I began singing, and the haters were of a certain group, also “singers” and their pals. LOL. I realized that I am quite blessed to be able to wear what I want, sing what I want, create and design what I want, and live as I want. Many are not as blessed and I only wish them all well on their own paths. All I can do is be me, and you are loved and inspiration to many more, than are “haters”….thank you for all you do ~ You are a lovely person, inside and out. xoxoxo

  34. In the 6 years I am blogging, I only had one less nice remark on Facebook. Somebody commented on a tunic saying it looked like an apron and continued saying it also looked like a maternity dress. I responded by saying we never had such aprons in The Netherlands and that if anyone thought I was pregnant, I would see that as a huge compliment, given my age. The commenter responded with laughter and took the comment down.
    So humorous is my weapon. It might be different if I were constantly attacked. That would take the fun out of blogging.
    Greetje

  35. So sorry to hear about the online abuse – and delighted to see that you’d paired the post with the most life-affirming, colourful and energetic photos. I loved them. Hopefully all that zest for living and defiance of negativity you’ve shown, will scare these detractors off!

  36. I adore this joyous “folkloric” outfit, Judith! So beautiful and INSPIRING! Great photos as well!
    And I agree with what you say. I only received a few negative comments – I think we’ve been creating an amazing community of bright, intelligent, creative and kind people that is somewhat rare in the online world. But I did receive a few unpleasant comments either on my blog or youtube channel. I simply deleted and blocked them. When harsh words come from someone we don’t even know, it is easier to deal with them. It is the people we trust who can hurt the most, I think. But it is a topic for a different conversation perhaps. But I have to say when I run into especially negative online communities (such as youtube), I tend to hesitate to share – why invite negative people in my life? I love our blogging community and appreciate it so much – it is sincere and kind, rare combination.
    Thank you so much for your voice of wisdom, you are truly a role model.

  37. Judith, first I have to say that this outfit is magnificent beyond words! Your self-expression through your clothing and your blog always inspires me as well as thousands of others, but you already knew that…which is why you have continued on for 9 glorious years. And I agree that the amount of positivity in this community far outweighs the bits and pieces of negative that get thrown at us from time to time. It is what we do in response to the negative that makes all the difference. I came under fire 2 years ago and we are only human so of course the hurtful words can cut us deep. But once the initial response passes, we can look at it more rationally rather than emotionally and respond in a positive way…as you have done. My response to the issue I dealt with at the time launched my weekly #SpreadTheKindness Link Up which was an effort to inject love and kindness into the world and create an unbreakable chain of kindness. And I think I have succeeded as the link up is 107 weeks old and I have been told that my blog has become synonymous with kindness. So we just need to keep on keeping on in our fabulous ways! Great post! I am glad that you decided to write about the topic.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

  38. I’m sorry I missed commenting on this post. Unfortunately, the more popular you become on social media the greater the chance that you will receive negative comments. I’ve always thought of you as a such a positive, giving person that it is hard to imagine why anyone would want to say anything hurtful to you, but unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet seems to encourage people who are angry, jealous, and generally unhappy with their lives to dump their negativity onto others. I’m glad that you realize how much stronger and resilient you’ve become since that early comment that reduced you to tears. Don’t waste your time or energy on the haters. XO

  39. I like to leave negative comments unanswered. It seems my readers take care of the haters themselves with their own responses. “Haters gonna hate” – best to not fuel their fire.

  40. Hi Judith, First of all, just to say, I follow your blog because I find it always a joy and inspiration.

    Your question is one I would like to answer for myself as well: it depends.

    On my own blog, Madam Mayo (a literary blog), I do not have any haters, or least I have not had any that I am aware of for many years because, though I ever and always welcome email, I do not publish comments on my posts. Interestingly, this small, easy-to-jump barrier works like the Greatest of Great Walls. (On rare occasion I get a bizarrely presumptuous or otherwise daft-sounding email, in which case I add the sender to my block sender list, and delete.)

    On the other hand, when I have published anything on websites where anyone can comment, yowie, what a truckload of ick! My sense is that the ease of commenting– just click– and especially when commenting can be anonymous–brings out the immature (kids up to pranks, adults in need of a little more frontal lobe development) and the genuinely disturbed (about 1 out of 30 people, in my experience of many years of teaching.). Some of the rudest comments sections are in the newspapers’ online editions (these often bring to my mind that old saying, would you answer back to the animals in the zoo?).

    In sum, I think potential legions of haters are out there for anyone and everyone who publishes online. My own sense is that too many editors, and too many bloggers, confuse censorship with with establishing the basic bounds of civilized discourse.

    It’s an orangutan’s teaparty– if you let in the orangutans.

    Eliminating the comments section is one option (and as I say, it works splendidly well), but not every blogger wants to do that, of course, and sometimes, as with freelance articles for newpapers, it’s up to the editor, not the writer to decide whether and which comments go live. On my own blog, I get to have it my way, but as a writer publishing elsewhere, and publishing books, I have to live with the reality that some people won’t like what I have to say (fine, it’s a free country), and some subset of those people will have nothing better to do with themselves than say so, very rudely.

    If it’s kids, well, one can just shrug, maybe laugh. If it’s an adult, well, I think it’s just sad– for them. I have a notion that most people who lash out in an online comments section are far harsher on themselves. They are the ones who hide in a gray T-shirt, metaphorically speaking.

    Love that red hat.

  41. I’ve been blogging for many years and I recently just switched to fashion/inspiration for women over 50. Boom – once I started that aspect of blogging I started getting haters. Even on my facebook page people got ugly. But I was determined and I believe in this movement. Once I weeded out the haters I could add people that truly got me and enjoyed the inspiration. Keep doing what you’re doing Judith. The world needs you and your work.

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