Amrezy v Shayla – the problem with social media


If you're anything like me, you won't even know why Amrezy v Shayla is happening, or even who they are –beauty bloggers whose once blossoming friendship has soured. It's in the news – or, rather, on online gossip sites – today because Amrezy lost her composure with former BFF Shayla on Snapchat yesterday, making Amrezy v Shayla the new Kat von D v Jeffree Star.

When you Slay together...👯 @amrezy #WeAreSoDisrespectful

A photo posted by SHAYLA (@makeupshayla) on

Before we go any further, let's clarify something: I don't know much about these women, and this feud is none of anyone's business – but I did find the Amrezy v Shayla Snapchat showdown pretty interesting on a few levels.

I mean, yes, I love a bit of drama, so I'll admit to finding the whole thing thrilling. But on my third listen (okay, I really love drama), I started to really think about what she was saying, such as:

If you ain't a fan of me, don't talk to me. Don't @ me; don't be in my comments.

Amrezy's effectively saying what so many social media "stars" say all the time, when they ask their followers to keep their negativity to themselves: "If you're going to comment, it had better be nice."

Of course, it gets dressed up all twee and acceptable, so we read it as, "If you've nothing nice to say, say nothing at all," but actually, what they're saying is, "I'm popular enough now that I don't have to listen to criticism – or even acknowledge that it exists – so I'll just be over here in my land of unicorns and stiletto nails, pretending it's not happening."

To a certain extent, I get it: social media can be a really nasty place, and all too often people forget their manners or basic humanity, when faced with a human they have decided they just hate (for whatever reason). But at the same time, that's life: we don't get to dictate how other people interact with us.

However, we can 100% decide how we interact with them, and we can hope that they'll afford us the same respect and kindness that we afford them – but in no other walk of life do you get to (a) create what is essentially a "safe space" around you and your work, where no criticism is allowed and (b) delete any criticism that does make it through the cracks.

This post could probably turn into a thesis, about when and why this was allowed to happen – I remember chatting to Kirstie McDermott, my friend, co-founder of and former editor of STELLAR magazine about it, and concluding that, a lot of the time, this happens because the individuals in question have never had regular, nine-to-five jobs with bosses they're answerable to and criticism they just had to swallow.

Hell, one of the most uncomfortable moments of my career was being taken into a meeting room when I worked at The Irish Times and told that I had to learn to deal with criticism better (I still maintain it was just my resting bitch face making it look like I was angry at the critic, when really I was just embarrassed and pissed off that I wasn't catching on faster) – but it was also a learning curve. Each bit of criticism and admonishment made me better, not necessarily at what I'm doing now for work, but at dealing with other people and handling perceived "negativity".

So, Amrezy v Shayla aside – I hope those gals manage to work that out – I think social media has really warped our ideas of acceptable and unacceptable criticism. It's important to recognise that not everyone is going to agree with you, or, as Amrezy might say? "Ain't everyone gonna be your fan." And that's okay – suck it up, swallow it down. Rise above it.

If you're doing what you love doing, and sharing what you love sharing, try – really hard – not to care what other people think. It'll make your life 10,000 times better.

This touches on something I've covered on YouTube – why "positive vibes only" is total BS. Check out that video here.