Model and former Miss Edinburgh beauty pageant finalist, 20, left ‘shocked and crushed’ by vile remarks from women over sushi restaurant promo picture
A 20-year-old Scottish model has been left distraught after being brutally trolled online about her appearance.
Emily Hawthorne from East Lothian says she was “shocked and crushed” after dozens of women posted vile remarks about a picture posted online to promote an Edinburgh restaurant.
Emily, a former Miss Edinburgh beauty pageant finalist, was pictured eating sushi at her home which was intended to showcase a safe and fun Valentine’s Day at home in line with coronavirus restrictions.
The image was used by Capital eaterie Maki & Ramen who reposted the picture to its popular Instagram account last month.
But Emily, from Longniddry, says she suffered a panic attack after she became the subject of scores of derogatory comments about wearing a low cut dress in the picture.
Emily told the East Lothian Courier: “I happened to check the comments to see how the photo was doing and the number of vile things being said about me was truly shocking.
“I was physically shaking – I had a panic attack and I thought: ‘I want to curl up into a ball and delete myself.’
“What was genuinely dreadful was that most of the comments were from women, saying rude things and tagging their friends.
“I was always taught that women should support women, so to see the harsh comments from females was horrible.”
Owners of the Japanese restaurant Maki & Ramen also slammed the trolls in an online reply about the attacks on Emily.
The restaurant’s post read: “As an all-female marketing team, we would like to express our hope that women can dine in their homes in this time of great challenge, dressing however they feel comfortable, without receiving comments of a judgemental or derogatory nature.”
Emily signed with model agency Colours Agency when she was just 16 and is currently working with the Mayhem Agency.
In 2018 she made it to the final of the Miss Edinburgh pageant and is currently amassing an impressive portfolio having three images recently featured on Vogue Italia’s website.
The model is now encouraging her 10,000 Instagram followers to take care of their mental health and spread kindness across all social media platforms.
She is aiming to raise awareness and understanding of bullying and internet trolling by sharing her own experiences of being bullied at school and inviting others to share theirs.
Emily added: “I remember being really young and not wanting to be alive any more.
“I felt let down, small and alone – flash forward a few years, and I now have amazing friends, lovely supportive people in my life and I love the content I put out into the world.
“Resources such as NHS 24 and online mental health chatrooms allowed me to speak to someone in confidence and they reminded me that I am worthy. You will always shine brighter than the people that try to put you down.
“I will never forget what I went through and how my bullies made me feel, but we should focus on building each other up, encouraging others to be the best they can be and remembering the Caroline Flack movement ‘Be Kind’.”
An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate bullying in any of our schools and we will work closely with all parties when issues arise.”