Every corner of the globe expressed some pretty harsh opinions.
He couldn’t see both sides of the argument because his daughter refused to, not because he couldn’t.
He wouldn’t have participated in the makeover if he had known what the outcome would be.
Filip was a programmer by trade.
He felt he had his head wrapped around most everyday tech and software.
But he was going to quickly find out that he was oblivious to not only the scope of social media but to the lengths people would go to for a thumbs up or more views.
His oldest, Alicja, had always been a beautiful and charismatic girl.
It was easy for people to like her and hang onto her every word.
Filip and his wife did everything they could to make sure their children had confidence and self love.
But parents can’t control everything, and things started to change.
The first thing he noticed was the bright or drastic hair dyes.
He figured it was a new fashion trend.
His lovely girl somehow made any hue look amazing and salon-worthy.
Although, it was a bit odd at how much she cycled through the rainbow.
Then the videos started to appear.
Alicja would show them off with pride and boast daily about how many new followers she got on any of her many social media platforms.
They seemed to be focused on fashion and makeup but some were too “out there” in his opinion.
When she asked could she do a “complete makeover”, he hoped it was to go back to her natural beauty.
Spray tans, nails, wigs, new wardrobe … you name it, it all appeared in her bedroom.
Between that and whatever “contouring” was, he watched Alicja transform into a new person. Part of it was amazing.
But, it wasn’t long until Filip and his wife saw a stranger sitting where Alicja should have been.
Whatever she was doing had changed her into a different person.
It didn’t look like his daughter at all.
He was impressed by her talents in cosmetics and her skills were clear.
But something felt off.
His worries were confirmed only a week later when Alicja burst into tears during lunch.
His girl cried salty droplets onto her chicken sandwich.
Her glossed lips quivered. When they asked what was wrong, her emotions exploded.
She yelled about unfairness, lies, jealousy, and how “she didn’t mean it like that”.
Now, he was officially worried. It didn’t matter if she was an adult.
He was still her father and had to do something.
She handed him her phone and pointed to the source of her suffering.
As he took in each word in every comment, his eyes grew as big as dinner plates.
He looked at the side-by-side comparison photos.
The makeover, despite its polished, professional salon standard had caused some friction.
It seemed that his Alicja had angered thousands in the social media community because she was a “white Polish girl pretending to be black” – all in the name of likes, views, and money.
Filip immediately felt his understanding of the world crumble away.
Her answer as to “why?” didn’t hold mustard.
Alicja yelled that “she didn’t mean it that way” and she had always had skin that tanned dark in the summer.
She also didn’t let the conversation continue further.
She stormed into her room and slammed the door.
But the crying got worse over the next few days.
Through his own social media, he watched as his daughter posted many more videos defending herself.
It was such a slippery slope – between creative homage versus standing on other’s identities.
Some commenters said she was doing nothing wrong.
Others said she had crossed a major line. He was only sure of one thing.
The percentage of people upset was significantly higher than the supporters.
He begged Alicja to just go back to one of her old looks.
Or at least use her platform to raise awareness and help when it came to discrimination.
Doubling down on her aggressive, stubborn stance wasn’t helping matters.
Filip thought they had instilled confidence in their children.
But it seemed the views and likes controlled her very identity.
What could he do when the entire world was whispering in her ear?
Over the weeks he watched the changes carefully – or lack thereof.
The new look, it seemed, was there to stay. The tears stopped.
Maybe she didn’t care anymore. Maybe she was just hiding her pain?
“Making bank” was the main focus now.
He kept an eye on her feeds just in case.
Being a dad around all the tech was rough.
Alicja was a young Polish girl with a passion for self-expression.
She loved trying out new styles and experimenting with her appearance, and she was never one to shy away from standing out in a crowd.
The fashionista had always been proud of her Polish heritage, but she had always been fascinated by the culture of other countries as well.
She loved to explore different music, art, and fashion styles, and she often incorporated these elements into her style.
One day, Alicja decided to embrace her love of all things African by posting pictures of herself online dressed in traditional African clothing and her hair styled in a way reminiscent of traditional African hairstyles.
But she didn’t know what an uproar she would create.
The funky young girl wanted to take things to a new level.
She dyed her hair a bright shade of purple and posted a series of pictures on social media showing off her bold new look.
But instead of the appreciation and admiration she was expecting, Alicja was met with a wave of hateful comments and criticism.
At first, Alicja received much positive feedback from her friends and followers.
They appreciated her willingness to embrace and celebrate different cultures and thought she looked beautiful in her new look.
But others were jealous and shared their horrible thoughts for all to see.
The distraught girl didn’t know where to turn; she had no real friends.
Not everyone was so accepting of Alicja’s new look.
Some people accused her of cultural appropriation and attacked her online, calling her names and telling her that she had no right to wear traditional African clothing.
The distraught girl never thought that her taste would cause so many problems.
She never intended to offend anybody.
People accused her of trying to look like a black person, and they accused her of being discriminatory and appropriative.
Alicja was shocked and confused.
She had never meant to offend anyone with her appearance, and she couldn’t understand why people were attacking her.
She tried to placate some comments, but people were harsh and ruthless.
Despite the backlash, Alicja refused to back down.
She loved her new look and wasn’t going to change it just because of a few hateful comments.
She stood her ground and continued to post pictures of herself, determined to show the world that she wouldn’t be silenced by negativity.
She commented on other social media stars like Kim Kardashian and questioned why people don’t say the same about her.
Her father, Filip, was shocked by Alicja’s transformation.
He had always encouraged her to be herself, but he couldn’t understand why she would want to change her appearance dramatically.
He pleaded with her to go back to being herself, but Alicja was determined to stay true to herself no matter what.
As the days passed, the hateful comments continued to roll in.
But Alicja didn’t let them get to her.
She knew that she was true to herself, and that was all that mattered.
Despite the negativity, Alicja’s confidence only grew stronger.
She continued to post pictures of herself and share her love of self-expression with the world.
And slowly but surely, the hateful comments began to die down.
Alicja’s story touched the hearts of many people, and she quickly gained a large following of supporters who appreciated her courage and determination.
She became a role model for others struggling to be themselves in a world that often tries to conform and suppress individuality.
She didn’t let the haters get to her and continued on her path.
Although she put on a brave face, Alicja was heartbroken by the backlash.
She had never meant to cause any offense, and she was devastated that her attempt to show her appreciation for African culture had been met with such negativity.
The poor girl was victimized, and she questioned her morals and self-worth.
But instead of backing down, Alicja stood her ground.
She refused to change for anyone and continued to embrace her love of all things African.
She posted more pictures of herself in African clothing and used her platform to educate others about the importance of cultural appreciation and understanding.
Over time, the negativity began to die down, and Alicja’s followers began to see her for who she was – a young woman who was passionate about culture, art, and fashion and who was not afraid to embrace her love of all things African.
She finally felt that the worst was over. She could be free to be as she was.
Alicja became a role model for others similarly attacked online for expressing their love of different cultures.
She proved that it was possible to stand up for what you believed in and to embrace your true self, even in the face of criticism and negativity.
She demonstrated willpower and strength that helped her overcome online troll abuse.
She learned that sometimes, the best way to handle backlash is to stay true to yourself and let your passion and authenticity shine through.
And in the end, Alicja proved that no matter how much hate and negativity comes your way, it’s always important to stay true to yourself and never let anyone else define who you are.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination.
Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.