Sarah Ferguson Set Things Straight About that Princess Diana "Rivalry"
Kate and Meghan, take note.
As part of the #HelloToKindness campaign launched by British mag Hello!, Sarah Ferguson took some time to talk about the impact of online bullying. It's something she's familiar with, especially after enduring criticism about her weight for decades. In an open letter published by Hello!, she also addressed the toxic reports that circulated about her supposed rivalry with Princess Diana. E! reports that she took a moment to clear the air, saying that the whole "feud" was completely fabricated.
She started by pointing out what a terrible place social media platforms can be, calling them sewers and adding that celebrities aren't the only people feeling the heat. Even regular internet users can be victimized by online bullies.
"Take a look at any website, and you'll see extraordinarily abusive comments aimed not only at people in the public eye but also other internet users," she wrote. "Bullying, sniping, bitching, even the most appalling sexism, racism, and homophobia are commonplace — it seems that online, anything goes."
Even though Princess Diana wasn't enduring online bullying the way it exists today, Ferguson noted that she can see some commonality between the way hate is spewed online and how reporters treated her and Diana when she was still alive. The public wanted to see them go against each other, not support each other.
"Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals," she added. "Which is something neither of us ever really felt."
During an interview with Harper's Bazaar last October, Ferguson explained everything once and for all. While the two did clash, she says that it was more like a fight between siblings, not anything like full-on fights the media portrayed. She also said that she missed Diana and that their moms were actually best friends, so they'd known each other for a long time and had a special bond.
"I really miss Diana. I loved her so much ... Diana was one of the quickest wits I knew; nobody made me laugh like her. But because we were like siblings — actually, we were fourth cousins and our mothers, who went to school together, were also best friends — we rowed."
Through #HelloToKindness, Ferguson hopes that everyone takes the time to reflect on what they say online and treat others with respect. She also offered up a tried-and-true adage which should be common sense.
"Let's all try to think before we post. Let's all try to treat each other a little more gently. Before starting an argument online, take a deep breath and try to respect someone else's position. Where we see others behaving unacceptably, let's call it out. It's an old motto, but a good one: if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."