If you’re on Twitter, Monica Lewinsky wants you to change your display name to whatever you’ve been called by bullies. She’s taking the lead, making her display name for the month of October “Monica ‘Chunky Slut Stalker That Woman’ Lewinsky.”
Why? It’s part of her latest, badass anti-cyberbullying campaign.
A year after debuting “In Real Life,” a video that showed actors reading nasty online posts about themselves, Lewinsky is back with another powerful P.S.A.
Dubbed #DefyTheName, the new video features celebrities being called horrible names from their childhood bullies, like Sarah “the Weirdo” Silverman and Lena “the Whiny Fat Cun*.”
The underlying message is not to let name-calling define you. Lewinsky is asking victims of cyber-bullying to participate in the campaign and join her in defying their bullied name by owning it and putting it on social media.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lewinsky said she feels that P.S.A.s are having a moment. “We’re so thirsty for the truth and ways to feel like we’re making a difference,” she said. “Some of the best P.S.A.s are the most impactful kind of storytelling.” (Last year’s “In Real Life” video was nominated for an Emmy.)
Having been the brunt of jokes for the past two decades regarding her “relationship” with then-President Bill Clinton when she was an intern, Lewinsky has plenty of experience dealing with cyberbullies.
“In general, I try to practice neutral compassion online — to de-personalize the vitriol being spewed at me and remind myself this person is probably suffering more than me,” she said. “Really, who yells or says cruel things to a stranger?”
Keep your eyes peeled for a surprise video later this month from a man Lewinsky was shocked to learn was bullied as a kid. In the meantime, even if you’re not on Twitter, it could be an interesting experiment to think of what your bullied name would be — and an opportunity to remind yourself just how much you’ve risen above it.