It’s been about 3 years since I started this blog, and in that time I’ve received a few nasty comments. Some comments have critiqued my opinions, some my writing style, while some have critiqued me personally. Because of how few and far between these comments have been, every time I received one, it hurt.
But since starting my Muslim lifestyle blog, I receive a lot more negative comments. I’d say I get one almost every other day now, and many of these comments critique the things I say, the things I believe, the things they see on my blog, etc.
Before starting my new blog, I knew that putting myself on the internet would result in some negative backlash. While I didn’t have much experience with this blog, I did have some previous knowledge and that did hover in my mind as I began to set up my new blog. But I loved my topic too much to be deterred by the negative comments.
And without a fail, the negative comments began a week or two after starting. Some of them were quite personal and attacked me as a person for the beliefs that I portrayed on my blog.
I was dismayed by the comments and spent days crying and fretting over them, the words playing themselves in my mind at night. I hate confrontations and so avoided replying for as long as I could, despite encouraging from my family and friends, because I was scared of engaging in something that might become an argument. But the words continued to linger in my mind and I realised that I did have a response to them. So I formed my thoughts and replied. Ironically enough, the person’s email was a fake and so my reply to them bounced and I never did get to respond to such a negative comment. But it did give me courage to respond to other comments that have come my way in the past 2 months.
And I find that my skin has gotten thicker and that the comments don’t bother me as much anymore. If a comment or message bothers me so much, I don’t respond right away. I take my time to think about what I want to say and then I reply.
I thought I had gotten over being upset over rude comments, but then about a week ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook page notifications and I saw that someone had shared a link from my page. I clicked on it, eager to see if the individual made a comment when sharing the link, and indeed they had. They warned other Muslim girls to stay away from my page, as they believed that my page was designed to keep young Muslim girls away from Islam and was poison.
I was flabbergasted by the amount of hate this person felt for my page, enough to share it and tell people to stay away from it. I had had plenty of people disagree with some of my posts or beliefs, but no one had called me an anti-Muslim thus far or called my page poison. Scrolling through pictures, posts, galleries, tips, and advice where I tried to spread hope, love, motivation, belief in God, respect for other humans, modest fashion, I struggled to find where the poison was. I struggled to find out where I had gone wrong.
But through the words of family and friends, I realised that there will always be haters. No matter what. Not everyone is going to love what you do, and not everyone is going to agree with it. Some people will stew silently about it, while some people will be a lot more vocal and let you know how much they hate you.
This is something that anyone who puts themselves out there, whether it’s through a song, a book, a piece of art, a blog post, etc. has to deal with. Because by putting yourself out there you are letting the world look at you in close detail. And the world usually has something to say. That’s where usually the internet comes in, since it is a free and open medium.
Through this time, I thought back to one of my role models, Amena (aka Amenakin) of Pearl Daisy. Prior to starting my blog, I would be shocked by the amount of hate she would receive on her Facebook page (among nice comments) on one picture she would share of herself in a particular outfit. People get into so many arguments under her pictures, and yet I saw how calmly she handled it all, with poise and grace. And so I aspired to be like her, because I saw that the more I would put myself out there, the more people would have to say something about it. Because that’s just the way the world works.
Realising this was liberating. Because even though the rude, nasty comments that belittle my work and put me down still bother me (I am human after all), they don’t affect my passion for the work I have undertaken. Because for every mean comment I get, there are at least four comments that commend me on my posts, that ask me for advice, and that thank me for my blog. And those comments are why I keep going.
I could easily get lost in the mean comments and lose myself in the hate. But I choose not to. Because the way I see it, if I help, inspire, encourage, or guide even one person, I have done my job.
And so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, despite the hate mail, because I love it. And because it makes me happy.
Thanks for reading,