Social media users, especially those who have a public account, are never immune to online trolling. But now, the disease has spread to even those whose picture goes viral.  

The online bullying of a topper of the 10th standard, Prachi Nigam, has received severe backlash.

‘Bombay Shaving Company’ created an advertisement to show support for her, however, that too backfired, adding more fuel to the ongoing controversy. 

Why Is The Student Being Bullied? 

Prachi Nigam, a student based in Uttar Pradesh, came into the limelight after the results for UP’s class 10 board exams were out. She scored a remarkable 98.5%. 

The entire controversy started when a picture of Prachi in her student attire went viral. The picture was posted to shine a spotlight on the hard-earned achievement of Prachi, however, instead of applause, the post started to gather criticism on her facial hair. 

As a result of this, she became a victim of online trolling. This unfortunate situation is an implicit reflection of today’s society’s mindset where looks matter more than anything else.

What Is The Shaving Company To Do With This?

A shaving company, called The Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) created an advertisement, extending its support to the student. However, this backfired because of the way they used their content and subtly promoted their own product in the wrong way. 

BSC showed solidarity with Prachi through a newspaper advertisement, which said, “Dear Prachi, they are trolling your HAIR today, they’ll applaud your A.I.R (All India Rank) tomorrow.” 

All was fine till here but then the concluding statement triggered the readers. In a much smaller font, it said, “We hope you never get bullied into using our razor.” This ad came into the picture when an ‘X’ user, Gabbar Singh, shared a picture of it, promoting their women’s face razor, Bombae. 

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Netizens expressed their anger, slamming the ad for being insensitive and opportunistic. Critics said that the ad downplayed the online bullying the young girl faced and used her situation as a cheap marketing strategy. 

“The kid would want this episode to end as soon as possible. But No! A brand wants to splash her name again. Without her consent. To sell their own razors. Very poor taste!,” commented a user. 

“Marketing is as cold a business as selling caskets,” said another. 

A third one said, “That’s the world we live in. fake outrage and fake sympathies for people it’s for likes, for brands it’s for business,” while the fourth joined, saying, “Seriously disgraceful”

Some social media users also called the ad “absurd” and “disgusting”, questioning the company’s intentions. They felt that the ad reinforced beauty standards and the idea that body hair on women is undesirable.

How Did The Bombay Shaving Company Respond To The Situation?

The founder of BSC, Shantanu Deshpande, shared the ad on LinkedIn, and wrote, ”It was shocking to see the amount of hate targeted at a teenage girl who had TOPPED AN EXAM because of her facial hair. Our simple message to this amazing young woman with such a bright future. Love to see my team ooze class. No opportunistic sale, QR code, nothing. Just a heartfelt message to a fellow Bae.

Responding to the online trolling, Prachi said, “When I saw that people were trolling me, it didn’t bother me much. My marks matters, not my facial hair.” Adding on, she said, “Even Chanyakya was trolled for his appearance and looks, but it didn’t affect him either.”  

She also thanked the people who supported her, “When my picture was shared on social media as the UP Board examination topper, some people trolled me. At the same time, there were people who supported me. I want to thank them all.

Despite all the awareness, there’s still a long way to go for society’s mindset to change. The fact that a student of such a young age had to face so much negativity is shameful. It not only deteriorates the mental health of the victim, but the confidence level also falls. A lot needs to be done to create a sense of acceptance in society so that everyone feels comfortable in their skin.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: NDTV, News 18, Business Today 

Find the blogger: Unusha Ahmad

This post is tagged under: social media, trolling, online, BSC, UP, boards, topper, controversy, AIR, netizens, brands, LinkedIn, Chanakya, UP Board examination

 Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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