Lindsay Bottos is a 21-year-old college student whose powerful art project is shedding a light on the Internet’s treatment of women.
Bottos created a Tumblr account in 2010 to showcase her artwork and photography. She also used it to upload selfies, which prompted hundreds of nasty, anonymous messages that mainly criticized her appearance. To fight back against her online aggressors, Bottos decided to turn the hate into an art project by superimposing screenshots of the messages over photos of herself.
As Bottos explained on her Tumblr, “I get tons of anonymous messages like this every day and while this isn’t unique to women, the content of the messages and the frequency in which I get them are definitely related to my gender. I almost exclusively get them after I post selfies. The authority people feel they have to share their opinion on my appearance is something myself and many other girls online deal with daily.”
Her project, aptly named “Anonymous,” immediately went viral. Currently, the post has almost 100,000 notes. Bottos’ project offers a harsh, unflinching look at the cruelty that perpetrates the Internet, and seems to suggest that a lot of the hate is actually from other women.
Bottos told BuzzFeed, ““The messages I’ve received are definitely indicative of a greater problem of online bullying and the anonymity of the Internet,” she said. “In my personal experience from what I’ve seen on Tumblr, the majority of the people who get messages like this are girls and women. It’s hard to say, but it seems like a lot of girl-on-girl hate.”’