From The Straits Times    |

Julie Tan is no stranger to crass comments whenever she posts photos or videos of herself on social media.

In a video she shared on Instagram and TikTok on Wednesday, the home-grown actress revealed some of the crude messages she has received over the years. They include disparaging remarks about her figure and the number of her dating partners.

Tan, 31, has more than 387,000 followers on both social media platforms. Her worst experience was when she was sexually harassed by a group of anonymous users when she was much younger.

She had received a link to an online forum, where she saw doctored nude photos of herself.

“They had photoshopped my pictures onto naked bodies and circulated those online,” said the actress, who was last seen in the local drama Mister Flower (2022).

She added she was then at an age when she was feeling insecure about her body. “Having people openly discuss and sexualise me only made it worse.”

Despite being traumatised, she was able to “take charge and reported the obscene comments on the forum to the police”. She added that she would continually flag inappropriate comments on her posts to the authorities.

“A mean comment, even when it seems harmless, can impact victims in severe and even life-changing ways,” said Tan. “They may fear for their physical safety.”

The outspoken actress, who documented her egg-freezing journey in August on social media, encouraged victims of online bullying to speak up and not suffer alone. She also urged netizens to be accountable for what they do and say online.

Tan’s clip has been viewed more than 19,000 times on TikTok and received more than 4,400 “likes” on Instagram. The comments were supportive, and some of her followers shared their own brushes with online harassment.

Tan’s show-business career began when she was 15, in the 2008 telemovie The Promise.

The former Mediacorp star has won two Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes awards at the Star Awards. She was named Best Supporting Actress for the drama The Dream Makers II (2015 to 2016).

This article was first published in The Straits Times.