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'It's terrifying': Xixi Lim talks cyber bullying, online harassment and how she deals with it all

'It's terrifying': Xixi Lim talks cyber bullying, online harassment and how she deals with it all
PHOTO: Noon Talk Media

Being famous may seem appealing, but the reality of constantly being in the spotlight can be more challenging than you think. Especially if it attracts unwanted attention.

Comedian, actress and singer Xixi Lim is no stranger to unwelcome remarks. While she effortlessly exudes charisma on movie screens and magazine covers, behind the glamour of stardom lies a daily battle with nasty comments and online harassment.

And despite her bright personality, the vivacious star isn't immune to the sting of criticism.

In this episode of Das What They Said, host Dasmond Koh invited the talented multihyphenate for a candid conversation - one about her experiences with harassment and dealing with disparaging remarks.

'As an artiste, your image is crucial'



"As an artiste, if you're going to be in front of the camera, your image is crucial," Dasmond shared. "The reason is that you need to have a distinctive point of recognition for people to remember you."

Xixi agreed. While she believed her body shape was a flaw, she recognised it was one of her 'distinctive features'.

But when Dasmond questioned whether she had ever been unhappy with how others described her, Xixi replied: "I think unhappy is an understatement. It was painful."

In her younger days, Xixi's 'chubbiness' was her identifier. Bullied and misunderstood by her peers, Xixi often found herself in tears and wishing she was invisible.

Now, at 36, she's accomplished just the opposite. Thrust into the limelight, the actress has not only embraced her uniqueness but flourished in it.

Some of her achievements include collaborating with prestigious brands such as Kate Spade NY and Charlotte Tilbury, and even releasing a Spotify single, all whilst establishing herself as a prominent figure in the local entertainment industry.

Just three years ago, she played a significant role in the popular Jack Neo film, Ah Girls Go Army, but her casting turned out to be contentious. It drew ire from her supportive fans and disparaging remarks from naysayers. "I feel that every time I appear, people will start to create a new stir," Xixi shared. 'Whether it's from those supporting me or those who are against me, their comments and words can impact me greatly."

Xixi's character in the film, Yuan Yuanyuan, came under scrutiny for her seemingly tongue-in-cheek name ('Yuan' is a Chinese homonym for 'round').

However, Xixi dismissed the fat-shaming claims, explaining that her character was never meant to ridicule those who are plus-sized but rather, portray them in a positive light on screen. To her, Yuan Yuanyuan's resilience and capability can be a source of confidence for plus-sized girls.

'I hope everyone thinks carefully before leaving nasty comments'

Sometimes insults can go too far, and it can be especially frustrating if they were made by individuals hiding behind the veil of anonymity.

"Many times, they know that when they comment, you won't be able to find them or see them. So they will boldly put up their worst comments," Xixi said.

During one of her TikTok livestreams, the actress encountered an obnoxious user who spewed insults incessantly and dubbed her "Pigsy". His actions aggravated Xixi's supporters, sparking chaos in the chat.

Xixi candidly admitted that even till today, she still feels hurt by such toxic comments, but she typically ignores them most of the time. It was only until one persistent harasser went too far that she was forced to make a stand.

"It's terrifying," Xixi recounted. "Every time I post something, he will criticise me or poke fun at me."

For instance, the harasser commented on a photo of Xixi drinking coffee and asked, 'Is this small cup of coffee enough for you?' He also made comments that joked about her blocking other people in a group photo, or worse - saying that she did not deserve to have her friends.

Despite all the harassment she has dealt with, the actress still manages to be understanding.

"Behind the keyboard, this person might have just needed some attention," Xixi said.

However, she makes it clear that this does not condone the behaviour, explaining that some victims might not be able to cope with such nasty comments.

"It could be a matter of life and death for someone else. This is serious, I hope everyone thinks carefully before leaving comments," she urged.

While Xixi has received a barrage of nasty remarks, she has also been uplifted by heartwarming messages sent by fans and individuals who have shared similar experiences.

Recognising that her younger self would have taken a much longer time to recover from such cyberbullying incidents, she feels a connection to the younger people who confide in her.

"I regularly hear from young girls, around 15 or 16 years old, who express insecurities about their looks. Despite their youthful appearance and normal weight, they perceive themselves as overweight and unattractive," she shared.

To these vulnerable young women, Xixi uses her platform to encourage them to practice more self-love.

'The internet is a world for everyone, we should use it well'

For public figures and celebrities like Xixi, their prominence often makes them more susceptible to online abuse.

Dasmond points out that it is important for people to be aware of the methods and platforms where people can seek help for online harassment.

One such avenue is the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA), a law that criminalises harassment, stalking, and other anti-social behaviour in Singapore. This law protects individuals from people who harass and engage in personal attacks against others.

"The internet is a world for everyone. We should use it well and make good use of it so that everyone can get along," Dasmond stated.

If you, or anyone you know, has been a victim of online harms, including harassment, abusive language, revenge porn, cyberstalking or doxxing, reach out to SHECARES@SCWO for assistance and support.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Ministry of Law.

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