I'm trolled for being a lingerie model – people say I'm a sl*g & need to get a real job, but they're just jealous

STARING at the phone screen in front of her, Liv Owens was moved to tears.

"You're a slag," the comment read. "Fake Barbie," said a second.

The now 24-year-old won reality show True Love True Lies in 2018 and netted half the £90,000 cash price, as well as a huge online following.

Liv, from Barnsley, South Yorks, capitalised on her fame to establish herself as a model and blogger, but it's not been without its hardships.

Backing an anti-bullying campaign by Cybersmile and St. Moriz, she tells Fabulous: "There are a lot of trolls out there and it can affect you mentally.

"You can have hundreds of good comments but as soon as you get a bad one, it gets in your head and you start to think ‘is there something wrong with me?’

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"Trolls get very personal – I’ve had horrible comments before. I’m not in contact with my biological dad and someone made a comment about that which stuck with me for about a year.

"I don’t even know who that person was, it was a completely fake profile and I think it’s so scary that anyone can sit behind an account, they don’t have to be verified with a passport or anything and they can say anything to you.

"It has brought me to tears before which isn’t great, because Instagram is just an app on your phone at the end of the day.

"One comment on a phone screen can make you feel so sad."

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Liv shot to fame on True Love True Lies aged 20, a reality show where she and pal Louis Shaw had to fool the public (and their housemates) that they were a romantic couple.

She became a full-time model aged 22, working on page 3 shoots and posing for brands including PrettyLittleThing, Ann Summers, Look Fantastic and Rebellious Fashion on Instagram.

Now with just shy of 30,000 followers, she says: "Trolls have called me 'fake', 'blonde', 'Barbie' and said my looks are the only thing I’ve got going for me, as I’ve got nothing going on upstairs.

"If you put a tiny bit of weight on, people notice it straight away. Whereas if I lose weight I’m labelled ‘too skinny’.

My job gets brought up, I’ll be called a slag or a slut. Trolls get really personal because they see it as a 'sexual post'

"It’s the same with make-up, if you wear 'too much' one time you get called all sorts of things, it’s not very nice.

"My job gets brought up, I’ll be called a slag or a slut. People go on holiday and walk around in bikinis all the time, but when I put a picture up it's different.

"Trolls get really personal because they see it as a 'sexual post' or they see my job as sexual and they come at me with personal comments, when they don't know me personally at all.

"Nobody in real life would call me that, but it's thrown around so often on social media."

Liv is currently in a nine-month relationship with her boyfriend, who she doesn't want to name.

She says: "I think a lot of it is down to jealousy. When you work with brands you get freebies which is really nice and I think when people comment about that, they do get jealous.

"That’s when they start to say stuff like ‘get a real job’, I get that all the time.

"I just think, if I’m not harming anyone else, why do people feel the need to throw these comments out there, because it doesn’t affect them?

"People see a picture with a brand tagged #ad and they think it’s as easy as that, but it’s really not.

I think a lot of it is down to jealousy. People think my job's easy, but it's really not

"Some days I feel self conscious so don't want to get up and take pictures of myself constantly, but that's what my job is.

"There's a lot of pressure on me, especially with so many unreal girls on social media, you have to meet a standard.

"People are getting better and better at this job, so I have to think about locations all the time, I have to put outfits together, get ready constantly. 

"Where I live in Barnsley, there’s not really any Instagrammable places. So I always have to travel to Manchester, Leeds or London sometimes.

"You've got to think about all these things, like hair extensions, make-up, fake tanning the night before. There's a lot that goes into it."

Liv admits just putting on fake lashes could take her an hour, and even without them it's an hour to an hour-and-a-half to get ready for a shoot.

She says of her trolls: "I just think they must be really unhappy within themselves or their own lives.

"It’s quite sad they have to push it onto someone else, to make them feel down too.

"I think they need all the help they can get, because I don’t see how doing that can make anyone feel better about themselves. But it clearly does, because otherwise why would they do it?

"I would say to them 'you need to look at yourself and think, why am I doing this? What in your head is making you think you’re going to feel better by making someone else feel rubbish?'

"I'd say 'there’s obviously something there that you need to work on within yourself, you need to make yourself happy and stop putting hate onto other people'.

"It’s just self-worth really, battle your own demons and get rid of them. I’m sure when you’ve done that and made yourself a bit happier, you won’t have to much hate towards other people."

Explaining her reasons for speaking out, Liv says: "I think it’s very important, especially with how easy it is to get on social media at a young age, it’s important to know it’s not all flowers and sunshine.

"There are bits of social media which can be upsetting and I think that needs to be talked about more with young people, so they are aware.

"I don’t think trolling is spoken about enough, people tend to just show the good side of social media when actually it’s not all like that.

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"Working with brands is very good and obviously it’s a job for me now, but there are downsides to it too. It’s not all happy."

  • Liv spoke to us as part of the St. Moriz Be Kind Online in conjunction with Cybersmile.

About the campaign

Cybersmile and St. Moriz have joined forces to encourage internet users to be mindful about the impact their actions may have on other people, raising awareness on the topic of cyberbullying and promoting kindness online.

Belinda Parkinson, Senior Brand Manager at St. Moriz says: “Here at St. Moriz we are passionate about encouraging body positivity and positive self-image. Cyberbullying is on the increase and we have heard first-hand the effect that it can have on people's self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. We want to demonstrate to our customers that we don’t just say, we do. Therefore, we are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Cybersmile and we hope that we can be a part of preventing Cyberbullying and can encourage people to Be Kind Online.”

Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder of The Cybersmile Foundation, says: “We are excited to be joining forces with St. Moriz to raise awareness of such an important issue. So many young people are struggling with problems related to body image, including low self-esteem, low body confidence and mental health issues. Understanding how to process the different influences and opinions online in a healthy and productive way is crucial for our wellbeing."

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