Love her or hate her, Iggy Azalea has enjoyed quite a successful year. Her breakout hit “Fancy” started a tidal wave of hits and collaborations and has solidified her spot in the industry (at least, for now) but her journey has not been without some controversy.

Azalea has faced harsh criticism from some, accusing her of trying to imitate African-American artists instead of being proud of her own heritage. Aside from her rapping and sometimes curious accent (she’s from Australia but there have been times when it sounds  as though she’s attempting to sound American), the performer has garnered a decent amount of attention for her looks with some people accusing her of turning to plastic surgery. Others have applauded her for helping to make a fuller figure more accepted in society. This week, however, she discovered first-hand how ugly body shaming can become.

The artist seemed to enjoy a romantic getaway with her boyfriend in Hawaii over th Valentine’s Day weekend but returned to find unflattering comments circulating on Twitter. Paparazzi snapped shots of the 24-year-old in a red bikini and tweets quickly erupted over her “cellulite.” The Grammy-winner responded by tweeting: “Just got back from a great vacation, came online and saw apparently it’s shocking and unheard of to be a woman and have cellulite. Lol. I just want to have peace and relaxation time without a perve with long distance lense hiding out taking pictures, everyone deserves peace.”

She went on to write: “I feel the hatred and pettiness i see online at all times is at making me become an angry person and I cannot be that. To become nasty because of the way I feel I am treated would be a disservice to my fans and I promise i will try to keep smiling.”

Azalea concluded by saying that she would be “taking some time away from social media. I need to be happy and it is too negative and draining.”

Regardless of what people think of her as an artist, it’s so cruel to publicly shame someone over their body. Very few women in the world are cellulite-free which means that her shape and contours represent the average female. What message are we sending if we say that something is wrong with Iggy Azalea’s backside and thighs? Further, most of us have experienced the sting of having a friend (or several) say something negative about us on social media. Imagine how much more hurtful it is when it’s hundreds or thousands of people? Let’s all make a conscious effort to be more mindful of what we say about others, especially in a public forum. There’s a human being on the other side of the screen.

Image Source