- Camille Lescai is a 31-year-old bride who got married in Sydney, Australia, in November.
- Lescai wore a pink wedding gown, but experienced online trolling from people who hated the dress.
- This is the story of how she responded to the haters, as told to Charissa Cheong.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Camille Lescai, and it has been edited for length and clarity.
I got married in November, and while preparing for the big day, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted my dress to make a statement.
The color pink is a big part of my personality, and when I saw a pink wedding dress on Instagram by a small Australian designer, I fell in love with it. I ordered a customized version of the dress for 6,500 Australian dollars, or about $4,400, and wore it to my wedding.
I’m not a particularly traditional person, so while I understand why people want to go for a more traditional wedding look, I don’t think I would have felt like myself wearing anything else. I subverted the norm by asking the rest of the bridal party and my guests to wear white and my wedding day was phenomenal — I had the best day and loved my dress.
A few days after the ceremony, I posted a reveal of the gown on TikTok, where I had around 300 followers, thinking that only my friends and followers would see it.
I woke up to a huge number of comments and thousands of views, with the video receiving 4.7 million views so far. I had gone viral — but for all the wrong reasons. A ton of people were writing negative comments to say they hated the dress.
I was shocked by the online hate but did not want to let it dampen my post-wedding joy
Scrolling through the comments on my TikTok video, I saw a number of people saying they thought my dress was “ugly,” while some people compared the organza skirt to toilet tissue.
A bridal account reposted my video on Instagram Reels, where it got even more hate as people described it as “dated” and “trashy.”
I was bewildered by the comments because I simply didn’t expect it to go viral. I’m not an influencer, and didn’t understand why so many people cared about what dress I wore or why they thought it was so controversial.
I didn’t want to let these comments bother me, because I love my dress, and did not want this ordeal to change my perception of it. However, I did struggle with my confidence when I was younger, and 15-year-old me probably would not have had the confidence to still wear a dress that I thought was really beautiful, but got lots of hateful comments after I posted it online.
What bothered me the most is the potential unintended consequences that the hate might create. It’s not just attacking me, but all the people who are watching from the sidelines. A lot of young women who commented on my video told me that when they get married they want a dress like mine, and I couldn’t help but think of what reading the comments would make them feel.
I faced the haters head-on by posting a series of response videos to expose them
I noticed that a lot of the negative comments came from people who had usernames that did not reflect their real names, which gave them a level of anonymity, and I felt that people were trying to tear me down in a way that they probably wouldn’t to my face.
That’s why I decided to respond to the trolls, by posting a video where I mentioned the fact that there were so many negative comments. Being anonymous makes people think they can skulk in the shadows, write nasty things to tear people down, and then just disappear, but sunlight can be the best disinfectant.
People might think that I should expect negative comments after posting anything online, but the flip argument of that is, if you make nasty comments online, you should expect to be held to account. This was my way of taking the power back.
I made a second post, reading the mean comments out loud, as a way of exposing what people said. A lot of people deleted their comments after I made my first video, but my friends and I screenshotted them so I could read them to the camera.
Lots of commenters under my response videos supported me, and it was nice that my friends were with me in the video so we could bring these awful comments to light.
My advice to anyone experiencing online hate is to try not to take it to heart and to know that the people who are in your life will love you no matter what is said online, and those are the opinions that matter.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Tausi Insider’s Digital Culture team here.