We want you to ask Emily Clarkson a question
She may be turning 29 this week, but Em Clarkson knows only too well that life can be tough. She was aged just 17 when she was publicly trolled – a monstrous torrent of online bullying – after pictures of her going about her everyday life were published. She still physically recoils at the memory.
‘It’s been 12 years and I can still see these comments. They’ve stuck with me. I was 17, and reading comments like, “She’s got a face like a slapped arse”; “a face only a mother could love”, or “someone needs to shoehorn her into her car”.’
Em shakes her head in disbelief. ‘Just mean s***. I was so upset by it. I’m a kid and you’re an adult. What are you doing?
‘I wanted to defend myself. I wanted to prove to myself and to everybody else that it wasn’t OK. So, yeah, I guess that was the start of it.’
By ‘it’, Em means a blog, which grew into an Instagram account with more than 300,000 followers (which you can follow here), and status as a straight-talking influencer who tells it as it is – joyously oversharing, from self-love to laughing through life’s uglier sides.
She’s warm, kind and lovably chaotic and her DMs are filled with people asking for advice, on everything from friends who suddenly decide to ghost you, to the hideous reality of walking into work after drinking too much at the team-building night out.
Now, in her weekly column for Metro and Metro.co.uk, Em’s new agony page offers her sage insight, a sympathetic take or simply the chance to make someone feel a bit better.
She’s drawing on her own instincts and experience as a successful writer, content creator and podcaster with the chart-topping series Should I Delete That? alongside Alex Light. Oversharing is the modus operandi, and on social media covers everything from feminism to postnatal fitness (Em welcomed her baby daughter five months ago).
‘I’m not doing some big, noble thing with my Instagram, I’m doing it because I need to know that it’s going to be OK if I make a bit of a t*** of myself. Life is more fun when you laugh at things,’ she says, adding. ‘I really want to tell you that I’m a smart business b***h and that it’s all on purpose, but it isn’t. I’m one of those people that wants to talk their problems out. I can’t sit by myself and work something out, I’ve got to do it publicly and messily.’
Em’s fitness platform is called the Have A Gos – or Hags, for short – with 35,000 followers and counting. She spreads joy in her Instagram series Feel Good Friday, which involves her dancing, often around her kitchen, to good news shared by followers on everything from dumping a toxic partner to graduating medical school.
She says: ‘Feel Good Friday is something that I do on Fridays where everybody sends in their good news and people thank me for doing it and I’m like, “No, thank YOU!”. Because for some reason terrible things in my personal life always seemed to happen on a Friday. And I very often find my life just in tatters on Fridays. So reading everybody’s news is so healing and lovely.’
Em’s online followers offer her advice, too, when the trolling becomes too bad. ‘I feel like even some of the abuse that I receive – to share it and to show people that I’m affected by it and I’m hurt by it – it helps me because I actually feel like I’m talking about it with friends.
‘But I hope that also, in watching me deal with it and not just roll over and cry, it might show other people that they can handle the abuse they get.’
Em readily admits she found help through a life coach. ‘I ended up getting coaching because I am very ill-equipped for this job. I’m very, very thin-skinned and emotional and sensitive and it was really getting to me, you know, getting the abuse and trolling. And it’s got to me for a really long time. So in the end, I sought help from this amazing coach who’s ended up coming on the podcast. We literally record my therapy sessions.
‘That has helped because I just think, if I am going through something, someone else will be, too.’ And as for the trolls? Em pauses. ‘I just have to remember that I am who I am and that is OK,’ she says. ‘And anybody who wants to talk s*** about me could probably do with a hug… but I’m not going to be the one that gives it to them.’
How to share a problem with Em Clarkson…
With more than 300,000 followers and a reputation as one of the more honest influencers out there, Em Clarkson is often asked for advice in her DMs. Now, she wants to do the same in Metro, as our newest columnist.
No topic is off-limits. Em says: ‘Oh God, ask me anything.’ So if you’ve a question for her upcoming agony aunt series, email [email protected] or DM Em on Instagram @em_clarkson.
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