A popular Australian conservationist and media personality has been left "upset" by fat comments on social networking site Twitter just weeks after recovering from a deadly disease.
24-year-old Elissa Sursara, a former actress who works as an ecologist and representative for organizations like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society spent more than nine months battling staphylococcus aureus disease and severe tetanus that left her immobile for months.
More than 40,000 people die from staph contraction every year around the world.
Sursara said she contracted the diseases on a research assignment in Bengal, India when she cut herself on burnt car debris. Her condition worsened weeks later in her home base Australia, where she was admitted to hospital via ambulance in December 2011.
Sursara said she was "mostly immobile" during her recovery, and gained a whopping eleven kilos, but was flattered by support from followers, including the infamous Animal Liberation Front.
It was after a brief appearance on October 8th on the ABC channel that Twitter trolls began hounding the conservationist with criticisms about her appearance.
Of the remarks from an account created to parody Sursara were, "Elissa Sursara used to be skinny... but then she ate one of the whales she saved."
The account was followed by more than 400 people in one day.
Sursara, who suffered a broken jaw and wrist in a September collision on the Gold Coast, spoke with Bullyville about her experience, saying, “I’m tough, but I’m not made of stone. Words have an impact.”
She admitted the attacks were hurtful, but shrugged off Twitter trolls’ suggestions for a starvation diet.
“I’m not plump by lifestyle," she said.
“I had open wounds on my legs and one on my abdomen that threatened my stomach and liver. I had surgeries to drain the masses and stayed on an IV for weeks. I spent a long time in hospital and an even longer time recovering at home,” Sursara said. “I could barely move. Of course I gained weight.”
The attacks follow close on the heels of a campaign that targeted Top Model judge Charlotte Dawson earlier this month.
Trolls on the Twitter site informed Dawson she was "past her prime" and urged the star to "k*ll herself."
Dawson, an author and former model, was tragically admitted to hospital after allegedly harming herself post-campaign.
Chair of the Australian Coalition's Online Safety Working Group Paul Fletcher said the "online hate campaigns" were "shocking".
"No Australian should ever have to go through something like this," Mr Fletcher said.
"Unfortunately, cyber bullying, including through social media services such as Twitter and Facebook is a growing social problem."
Sursara, who generally weighs between 50 and 55 kilograms and occasionally draws criticism for her environmental politics, has had a clean public reception since coming to prominence in 2005.
She has more than 100,000 followers on social networking site Twitter, was Mind Body Soul magazine's 3rd most popular Australian celebrity and was a nominee in PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) 2012 Sexiest Celebrity Vegetarian competition.
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Posted By: NoseBleedSection |
10/16/12 3:30 PM
Another cruel case of cyber bullies hiding behind their usernames to spew hatred
Posted By: DemonJoe |
10/17/12 5:06 PM
ill be honest and say i didnt know exactly who this girl was until i googled her properly. i had learned her name from dating emile hirsch but i didnt know just how compassionate and thoughtful and giving she was. how dare these bullies say these horrible things about her --- and after she was sick no less!? keep your head up elissa sursara, we support you