I was interviewing an American actress on Instagram live the other day and as always prepared for our chat by asking if there were any points of interest that she’d like to discuss followed by doing some of my own research into her life and career via online search engines.
I found out a whole list of fascinating facts about her that I eagerly jotted down to use as conversational points on our live stream and couldn’t wait to hear more about her amazing life in the limelight. However, upon raising the talking points with her during our live stream I soon realised just how embarrassingly inaccurate the news reports, online bios and facts about her were. It turned out that the majority of the information about her life online was ill-informed, inaccurate or entirely made up which she happily corrected and actually made for a great discussion.
For years the media have written about my life since I became a page 3 model at the age of 18yrs old and was catapulted into the spotlight overnight for immediate dissection by every journalist, TV viewer, magazine reader and keyboard warrior who happened to come across me. The problem being that more often than not, these journalist and critics had never met me, never spoken to me, knew nothing about me and just had copies of magazines and papers to sell with deadlines to deliver on and so didn’t concern themselves with real facts or getting to know me – they simply judged me for several hundred words for the sake of a headline and pay check.
Because of this Chinese-whispers style of news about people in the public eye, society – if not the entire world – then forms an unfounded judgement about you based on something that is entirely out of your control and unfounded. Like when you find an actor or film star that you’ve recently discovered and enjoy watching their films but know very little about their personal life, if you were to read online that they’re impatient and unkind towards their staff you may choose to personally dislike them and stop watching their movies and even tell your friends and family to do the same; yet they could be the nicest most caring person on the planet but have been totally misrepresented in the media by a journalist fictitiously filling up column space with whatever they can think of saying. How on earth is that fair or just?
I used to lose sleep over the comments people would leave about me online beneath news reports and features about me from journalists across the world who had never met me, didn’t understand me and so happily judged me unfairly, thus negatively influencing hundreds of thousands of their readers against me. At times I cried, I felt misunderstood, victimised and felt the need to justify myself even contacting some of the publications to say “Excuse me, what you’ve written about me is wrong, I didn’t say or do that and I’m not like that. Please can you remove it? It’s very damaging for me to be portrayed in such a way in the media.”
“You’re in the public domain, what do you expect? We’re legally within our rights, deal with it.” – The response I received from publications who have never spoken to me but use my name, social media pictures and publish inaccurate facts about me.
So if you’re in the public eye it’s somehow acceptably a free for all for people to create a character about you and portray you as either the villain or heroine – neither of which parts you’ve auditioned nor asked for, you’re just living your life as you.
As a blogger and social media influencer I often cover topics on beauty, fashion, fitness, health and lifestyle and as such I write in great detail about the reality of aesthetic treatments, experiences and surgeries that I’ve had to give people a true account of what to expect should they consider doing it themselves. I always do my research before making any decisions big or small, like a cautious and caring mother I not only want to keep myself but also other people who may have questions and concerns and look online for answers.
Being a personal trainer, nutritionist and vegan bodybuilding professional having gained my PRO card in 2017 I have written for worldwide publications, magazines, newspapers, videos, TV interviews and radio. As a model, influencer and humanitarian I speak about things that I am passionate about to bring positive change to the world.
I write warts and all accounts of what’s really involved in procedures that I go through in order to highlight proper preparation, the importance of using only skilled practitioners, the healing process and adequate aftercare to ensure people are fully informed to make their own decisions for or against it themselves. Sharing my own personal results and experiences in this way allows me to show the true side of what I’ve been through in a world corrupted by invasive advertising and false ideals. However this has led to the media criticising me for my appearance, calling me obsessed, selfish, addicted to surgery and one even went as far as to report that I measure my nose everyday in a quest to be perfect! It’s ridiculously untrue and utterly unfair. Yet that is what readers see and choose to believe when judging me.
Thankfully I have social media and my blog to correct inaccuracies and tell my side of the story, to stand up for myself and say “for those of you who know me you know that had nothing to do with me” yet for some the damage has already been done in the content they have seen about me online and their negative judgement is firmly founded. Some people prefer to hate, criticise and negatively judge others rather than take the time to understand and praise the good that they do.
I gave up on trying to defend in the media myself a long time ago, knowing that legally there was nothing I could do to clear my name against the inaccuracies about me online. I have fake social media accounts popping up on a daily basis using my name and pictures, contacting my followers to inform them they are the real Tracy Kiss just on a secret private account reaching out to sell personal intimate videos and meetings in person for money – neither of which is possible because I have no videos and I do not meet fans!
Yet people believe it, they hand over their bank details, send money, arrange to meet “me” and when the fake account stops responding to messages, fail to turn up for a “meeting” or doesn’t deliver a “sex tape” they suddenly realise they’ve been scammed. But who do they think they’ve been scammed by? Not the bearded man with poor English and a severe lack of knowledge about my personal life on the other side of the world pretending to be me, no, of course not, because he used my name and pictures it must be me! I must be this hideous monster and the people who have been scammed out of money by a fake social media account for the promise of inappropriate content and time are now on a hate campaign against me!
So the victims of these scams message me on social media, via my verified official account to tell me that I haven’t responded to them or shown up or sent videos and I politely respond with “I’m sorry that you have been speaking with somebody using my name and pictures pretending to be me, please report the fake account, it isn’t me” but that isn’t the resolution they wanted because they didn’t get what they were sold and so they send me abuse, hate and threats instead for which I block them and they go on to make fake accounts themselves to leave hurtful and defamatory comments across all of my social media. It’s a lose-lose situation.
I decided to create an Instagram highlight to reiterate, as I always say, that any unverified profile online – that doesn’t have a blue tick next to my name – is not me. I never reply directly to messages, I do not respond to emails, fan mail or any form of public contact privately, instead I do it publicly by posting my responses on stories and comments for everybody to see. Primarily because I have millions of followers across the world and there’s only one of me so I wouldn’t never be able to clear my inbox each day let alone the backlog, and secondly by only replying publicly to comments this way my fans know it is me.
I don’t have management, a team of staff or helpers, everything I do I do by hand myself, that way I am authentic, genuine and true to myself in a world where everybody judges me based upon other peoples – who have never met me – opinions of me. So when a fake account uses my name and pictures and pretends to be me online writing things such as “look how sexy I am, let’s have a good time, inbox me for services” it is incredibly damaging. Not only is it a false portrayal of me, what I stand for and how I conduct myself, it’s also an illegal way to scam innocent people out of money, identity theft and fraud – in my name that I am helpless to do anything about other than attempt to warn people that it isn’t me!
Whenever I see or get told about a fake account using my name and pictures I report it to whatever platform it’s on. The majority of the time it gets removed within a few hours of me reporting it, but sickeningly many times I’ve received responses to reports saying the account has not been removed because it does not violate the community terms and conditions. Yet it’s using my name and pictures, pretending to be me, contacting my followers saying “hi I’m Tracy Kiss” and creating captions saying “I’ve just been to the casino, I’m eating a beef burger for lunch and I love spiders” when it’s the exact opposite of my life.
Imagine if you were to walk down the street and somebody is wearing a wig and prosthetic mask to have the exact same hair and face as you, they’re wearing your clothes and talking to your friends at a cafe pretending to be you and everybody believes it. How would you feel? Shocked? Scared? Freaked out? Somebody has stolen your identity to take over your life and people you actually know believe that they are you? Now what if that same person robbed a bank or shot somebody pretending to be you before disappearing completely without a trace and you’re left to pick up the pieces; how do you convince others that the person who disappeared who looks exactly like you and has exactly the same name as you written on their fake ID they showed isn’t you? It sounds like something from a movie right, only it’s not, it sickeningly happens online everyday to millions of people across the world – most models, celebrities and influencers have experienced it yet the law still allows it, these people are not arrested and prosecuted, they are free to mislead, prey on the vulnerable and steal money through identity theft and fraud online. Something has to change!
Thankfully some of my fans who are contacted by these fake accounts pretending to be me know that it isn’t me and help me to report them, but they simply create another fake account right away and continue to do the same because it’s an easy way for them to make money, so it’s a constant battle that never ends. As well as reporting the fake accounts I also ask my followers to talk to them and go along with it to waste their time and stop them from approaching other fans. It’s clear from the screenshots of the conversations between my fans and the fake accounts that the people who are impersonating me know absolutely nothing about me, as my fans ask about my sisters lung surgery – knowing full well that I don’t even have a sister and talk about pets with silly names that I don’t have just to show how far they will go with the scam. It’s really quite bizarre.
Having being vegetarian since the age of five and vegan for the past several years I’ve lived the majority of my life plant-based as I never ate meat, fish or eggs and needed osteo tablets from a young age because I disliked dairy so much; discovering my dairy intolerance as an adult made sense of why I always felt sick whenever l had milk so becoming vegan only really involved me switching the rare piece of milk chocolate or an ice cream for non-dairy alternatives and didn’t have a huge impact on my day to day life because I never had meat or dairy anyway, just didn’t label myself a vegan until it seemed to be fashionable.
So when people judge me, write about me, report on me, they always seem to anchor on the fact that I’m a vegan single-parent, as if these two boxes that they choose to put me into are insulting and defining of my character. Oh she’s vegan, that says it all! She thinks she’s self-righteous. She’s a single parent too, why? Because no man can put up with her moaning and attention seeking? They fail to see that I’ve had lifelong intolerances that made me lead a plant-based lifestyle since I was a child, much to the dismay of my family who all believed that not eating meat or dairy was bad for me. They fail to see that I was physically sick and in pain when eating something my body could not tolerate, which wasn’t my choice. They fail to see that I love and have always had animals and wouldn’t want anybody or anything to suffer for my own personal greed. They fail to see that I’ve stood up for animals rights just as I’ve stood up for human rights and womens rights.
They also conveniently fail to see that I worked three jobs at a time and studied whilst raising my two children alone because infidelity, lying and abuse led me to become a single parent through no fault of my own. But hey, I’m the one picking up the pieces so I must be the one who broke the family, right? It must be my fault, I must have deserved it. They don’t understand for a second how soul-destroying it was for me to go through, how I lost everything in my life and had to start over, mentally, emotionally and physically.
They don’t understand how one day I was supposed to be looking at wedding venues with my childhood sweetheart and the next I was scared and alone fighting for my life in hospital unable to even hold or take care of my baby until I’d recovered from an emergency breast reconstruction. They don’t see the hours upon hours that I spent studying, working shifts and sleepless nights with my young children that I went through to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. They also don’t see that whilst I rebuilt myself from the inside out to become the strongest I’ve ever been, that I did it by myself and for myself to discover my self worth and find strength in life, not to please or offend or get revenge on anybody else. How can they take something positive and inspiring and turn it into hate and negativity?
Equally what purpose would social media have if we didn’t use our reach for positive change in the world? There is far more to life than taking selfies and bragging about what material possessions you have. One year I gave away more money to charity than what I earned in order to help others less fortunate than me. I don’t have a lot, I’m a full time working single parent and never stop, but no matter how little you have there is always somebody who has less. I must have donated months of my time voluntarily across the years to help small businesses, charities and start-ups to make a positive difference because I believe in doing good you are creating good. One small act of kindness can achieve so much and inspire so many.
Yes, people may come across me because they see me in a bikini or read an outrageous headline about me in the news – but I hope that in people being drawn to my pictures online that I can influence change via my captions. That the messages of love, positivity and mindfulness that I share can make a real difference. That the followers who came to me for a picture of me in a bikini but ended up donating money to a wholeheartedly worthwhile fundraiser may now care a little more about the world around them, perhaps even put a few pennies into a charity tin when they next pass collectors in the street or do a good deed because they realise how much better it makes them feel to selflessly help others.
Possibly one of the most viral media pieces about me that people may recognise me from is when I spoke out about the health benefits of semen. No, I didn’t invent semen, no I don’t sell semen nor collect it from strangers and I’m not a pornstar or strange fanatic that imposes my views and beliefs onto others around me. I do however have a sensitive skin complaint called rosacea which led to me switching chemical-laden pharmaceuticals which caused me frequent facial flare-ups for a natural skincare alternative which was semen.
There are many studies and reports about the health benefits of semen online which I highly recommend you check out for yourself. In speaking about what works well for me I wanted to make others aware of this natural and healthy free alternative without any side effects to the sometimes dangerous and ill-tested products that we are force fed and sold via advertising online. Sometimes the things that are truly most safe and best for us are quietly and naturally under our nose the whole time yet the things that we end up with are from whoever has the highest advertising budget and shouts the loudest about claiming to be the best there is. If we all cared a little less about branding and labels and thought a little more about what goes into the foods and things that we consume then manufacturers would be more accountable for the things the sell and they impact that they have on the planet.
I’ve also seen blogs from vegans ridiculing me and saying I’m not vegan for consuming my partners semen when I spoke out about a study which found semen to boosts the immune system when consumed. Having struggled with my own immune system and health problems, I use natural alternatives to keep my health at its best, simply sharing the message of the health benefits of semen from studies which I didn’t create and are accessible to all online; I just made people aware of their existence in order for them to make their own choice to consume or waste it when given the opportunity. I personally see veganism as the avoidance of the consumption and unnecessary suffering of animals, neither of which are anything to do with not wasting a healthy partners ejaculation for non-sexual health purposes. We just have to accept that some people like to judge others and argue online for the sake or arguing; yet I’d imagine those very same people leaving hurtful comments haven’t been lifelong vegans, have worn leather in the past, used products that have been tested on animals and live in a fairly modern home rather than a carbon-footprint free hut on an an island where they generate their own energy, self-sufficiently grow their own crops and home-school their children. We are all only human, we can all do our bit in whatever measure we can, it really isn’t about being perfect, better than others or the most vegan of them all, it’s about living life in a good and kind way.
After all of this I may sound like a bible-bashing, tree-hugging, animal/womens/human rights activist, do-gooder, attention-seeking, outrageous weirdo, or I may just sound like your nan, your mum, your sister or best friend who tries a little each day to do something nice and bring about positive change to the world by treating others as you would like to be treated. Whether you have one follower on social media and tweet from your armchair or one million followers and stand on top of a mountain preaching about justice with a megaphone, we all know the difference between right and wrong and can all do something selfless instead of being selfish. The fact that my life is constantly put under a microscope by judgemental strangers online doesn’t deter me from living my life and being unashamedly myself as the individual I was born to be, as should you all.
This blog may appear to be me trying to defend myself, justify my actions, beliefs and worth when I really don’t have to and didn’t want to, but I felt the need to speak out for the inaccuracies I have seen. This may seem self-obsessed to talk about my justices, dreams and goals in life, or it may seem endearingly inspiring. Either, or, or any way in which you choose to perceive this is entirely out of my control – for as many people who love me I do not doubt that just as many will hate me despite my actions and beliefs being authentically the same throughout my life. You cannot please everyone so don’t even try. Just live your life in the best way possible as the wonderful individual that you are and try not to cause suffering or harm to others. We can all be the change that we wish to see, it is never too late to make a difference.