Have we really come all that far since #BeKind? 2 months ago

Have we really come all that far since #BeKind?

The tragic passing of Caroline Flack earlier this year reminded us all to #BeKind.

The former Love Island presenter took her own life in January ahead of her assault trial - a charge that led to a trial before the trial, an incredibly public and almost unwavering scrutinisation of Flack's personal life, her relationships, and her career.

Before that two other Love Island stars also died by suicide; Mike Thalassitis in 2019 and Sophie Gradon in 2018.

The deaths weren't entirely representative of a broken show but a broken culture, one that catapults regular people into sudden celebrity status, often leaving them to fend for themselves among the trolls, the hatred, and the constant barrage of criticism.

After Caroline's death, there were calls for change. Friends and family wanted networks to take more responsibility for the people they were working with, but they also wanted the public and the press to consider their own actions.

Laura Whitmore spoke candidly about the vitriol her friend received on a daily basis following her passing. In an emotive tribute, she said that Caroline "lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny."

"Caroline loved to love, that’s all she wanted," said Laura. "The problem wasn’t the show, the show was loving, caring and safe and protective.

"The problem is, the outside world is not."

Six months on and change can be noted. Caroline's passing did appear to trigger a shift in our perception of celebrities, but it unfortunately did not put a stop to the unwarranted venom that continues to be shot at young women who happen to exist in the public eye.

This week, Love Island runner-up Molly-Mae Hague shared screeenshots of just some of the comments left beneath photos of her wearing a bikini.

"Looks lardy, out of shape, and needs to loose [sic] that flab," reads one. "If I had a bum like that I wouldn't flaunt it," reads another.

"She needs to take some of those diet pills she markets," says one more, despite the fact that the influencer has never promoted the use of diet pills, nor does she "need to take some" herself.

Molly-Mae shared the comments on her Twitter page asking: "How can you actually write shit like that and sleep at night?" It wasn't long before the comments were picked up by her fellow Love Island contestants, the majority of whom reminded their followers that 1) Molly-Mae is 21-years-old, and 2) she's a person too.

Among them was Maura Higgins who tweeted: "BE F**CKING KIND!!!!! How many times do we have to say this??"

She was backed up by Love Island winner Amber Gill who said: "Are these people DUMB, she's a 21 year old girl. It's unhealthy to have the mindset these people do, like its actually sick?"

Since then, social media has been awash with posts from other young women saying that they would kill to look like Molly-Mae - a size eight woman who has for some reason received constant criticism about her body and appearance since leaving the Love Island villa almost a year ago.

The comments may be restricted to one article, but they're there - dominating a story that only exists to draw attention to a young woman's body while she tries to enjoy a holiday with her boyfriend.

There's a reason why Molly-Mae is being targeted: because she exists. Because she's got over four million Instagram followers. Because she dared to wear a bikini looking like a normal size eight woman.

There has been change since Caroline's passing, but there has not been enough. Where a lot of people have begun to check themselves and their words, others have not.

They haven't bothered, and why should they have to? One nasty comment about a woman's body won't make a difference, after all.

She'll never see it.