For those of you who watch “Scandal” you all know the forbidden love story of President Fitz and Olivia Pope, who we’re all rooting for. However, for Monica Lewinsky and her presidential love, it was the exact opposite.
Last week Monica Lewinsky released a TED Talk that focused on bullying through and by media outlets. She begins the talk by telling a story of being hit on by a twenty-seven year old who used the pickup line, “I can make you feel twenty-two again.” Lewinsky then jokes, “I think I am the only person over forty that does not want to be twenty-two again.” She then explains that at the age of twenty-two she fell in love with her boss, who happened to be President Bill Clinton. Then, at age twenty-four she, “learned the devastating consequences.” Next, she asks the audience for a show of hands of the people who didn’t make any mistakes or do anything they regret at the age of twenty-two. Of course nobody raises their hands.
When the story broke, in 1998, social media wasn’t around yet. However, Lewinsky points out that people could still comment on things online, send cruel emails, use pictures in banner ads to catch viewer’s attention, and many other things. She quickly transformed from a private citizen to a hugely humiliated public figure. Lewinsky then states, “When this happened to me seventeen years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyberbullying and online harassment.”
Monica Lewinsky is infamous for the scandal so many years ago, and is now trying to rebrand herself. In 1998, the media created an image for her as a tramp, slut, etc. Now she is using this image to gain people’s attention and educate listeners about cyberbullying and online harassment. She is rebranding herself and redefining her story. Sounds like advice Olivia Pope would give.
-Kelli Hall, Mallory Brayman, Morgan McCleaf