Social Media Harassment. My place on the internet and the defamation of Rushtush. By Rushda Moosajee

I am no newbie when it comes to being accessible online. Yes, in the last 2-3 and more recent years things have really escalated in terms of active users on social media. With everyone using social media to express themselves, amongst all of the feelings there will always be negative opinions, judgment and evil hate. I have never had a problem with this because I know how the world works. You can’t accept all the good coming your way, and not expect evil to be directed at you. You take the bad with the good. That’s the math. People often ask me how I deal? Very easily actually, ever since I’ve been on my fitness and health journey, which started ten years ago, I was more focused on myself than ever, even though I have always been thick skinned, driven and I always fought for what is true and what I believe in, I have always been proudly fierce and strong. Don’t misunderstand me and think that what I’m saying is that I have an ego or that I am not open to learning or to being taught or listening. I am always open to evolving. What I’m talking about is that I’ve always been proud to be real, honest and normal. I have a real body, I have real obstacles and regular challenges. Since day 1 on Facebook I have shared my journey and my struggles. My discovery, my physical and mental evolution was witnessed by so many. And I was real. Living in my body, growing and evolving. Working with bodies for so long has brought me to a place where I am absolutely and completely comfortable with the female body. I understand for some their own naked body makes them feel awkward. Body parts being taboo. Exposing and sharing parts and pictures trigger uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps something you were told as a kid? Maybe you were raised feeling ashamed of your body? For whatever reason, people feel triggered by body parts, whether it is sexual, or angry, or uncomfortable. Those are your feelings regarding your anatomy. I get that some people feel shook. But I don’t. Lol. For me bodies are bodies. They’re beautiful, they’re fascinating, they’re strong, they grow life, they make life possible. Bodies don’t only house organs and digest food, they house trauma, memories, energies and feelings. Bodies breed disease and bodies can weaken just because of hate. Our bodies are so, so much more than just sexual objects. I know not everyone is at this point in their lives where they understand this. I don’t expect anyone else too agree with me either. What you see in me is just a reflection of what you wish to see in yourself. The feelings that arise when you look at a post that angers you, is something you need to address within yourself. And that’s fine. I’m on the other side, still as focused as I was ten years ago. I’m not giving up. I am living my dream life. And part of me living my dream life means that I am not triggered by what you post about your body. It’s ironic, because assisting in the transformation of thousands of women’s bodies is my job. Lol. I will still never, bash, judge, and critique or call out a female on their life choices. Many people are questionable, yes. And I’m here for the laughs, the good times and the inspiration. I mean I’ve been here since day one, offering advice to those who need, motivation for those who seek, and entertainment for those who like to laugh, at themselves, like I do! What I’m not here for is disrespect, rudeness, bashing, and this new thing now where people gang up like mobs because they feel they need to disagree with someone else online and take action. It’s totally fine to disagree, dislike someone even, hate them, if you want. Cool. Go ahead. Have coffee dates and talk about the people you hate and why you hate the fact they do this and do that. You can hate people your whole life in your private life for not being who you want them to be but once you click ‘post’ and publish your statements, views and negative opinions, you best believe you will get my attention and that of my lawyers.

My goal was never ever to be on the tips of people tongues. Chatting about social media to a friend, I said ‘online’ is my life. Women need solutions to their health and fitness problems. When they go to bed at night and the last thing they think about is how am I going to make that change? I want them to wake up and know – Rushtush has the solution. She can guide me. And I do, I can. Just by following my life online, you can pick up on good habits. Maybe you’re insecure about running with your big bust, or you’re shy about your height and curves, cellulite, rolls or whatever. I’m here to demonstrate, that its normal, to be normal. My platform is to uplift, even if it’s a small part of you. That small part needs encouragement. If she’s brave, I can be brave too. It has nothing to do with taking your clothes off.

I have so many women come train under me over the years, with so many hang ups. Even in an all ladies gym. Enclosed and safe. We still feel like we should hide. Hide our sweaty hair, hide our scars, our stubble, our rolls when we sit down. Why? Why can’t we be comfortable in proudly owning who we are? Because of what people will say? What will they think I’m thinking of myself when I post this? Who the fuck cares. I am working on me, for me, not for you, not for your validation, not for your Likes and Comments. Be it negative or positive. If you’re living for online approval, you need to reassess your intention on the internet.

Through the years I have become an ‘influencer,’ an occupational hazard I guess. But before I influence you to go lift some weights and drink a green juice, remember, I am a businesswoman first. I teach from my ladies only studio / gym in the CBD in Cape Town. This month marks Glow Women’s Physiques 5th birthday! I have my successful online coaching business that has been live for 4 years. I run online challenges, I host events and workshops of my own and am often asked to be a guest/motivational speaker and train at other events. I chat on radio and have had my fair share of magazine and television interviews, I also write fitness articles for the paper from time to time. I’ve worked hard to be in the back of women’s minds at the moment they’re ready to elevate their lives. MY BRAND IS MY BUSINESS. I am so hectic about endorsing anything. You will never see me hopping from one product to the next or jumping on bandwagons because they’re trendy. I am true to what works but also very open to being resourceful. I am a modern mommy and a female. Everything I share and am, I have always been transparent about. My Glow Girls know, I would never throw or push anything onto them. For me, just because I have the power to influence something, doesn’t mean I am willing to do so. My priority has been my brand and I protect it at all cost.

Often people think, “oh because you’re a brand, you’re online, an influencer, in the paper and successful”, people WILL hate. Deal with it. They’re just haters. Rise above it. Yes, we covered private hate. But today, people need to know that they will be held accountable for their published statements online. This isn’t about my ego. It’s about my business. I don’t care if you don’t like me. But don’t start dragging my business, questioning me as a mother. Attacking what I stand for just because you find yourself uncomfortable with human anatomy. Or for whatever reason you want to spew hate. We will never know.

EMAIL
Sometime into this year I decided to stop sharing any negativity I received. After one horrific incident where I was receiving evil emails about an alleged tummy tuck post pregnancy, I got lawyers involved who tracked down the company whose email account was sending me these crazy emails. Upon sharing my experience, I received so many supportive messages from people, like I always do. But this time some people were saying, things like “even if you had a tummy tuck… we still love you”. The damage had been done. Someone’s hurtful false claims had already planted the seed of doubt in minds. It risks everything. All the hard work I put into my pregnancy, every single salad and green juice I drank, every session I made it to the gym, the pool, even to endermologie to ensure my skin was ready, was all questioned. I worked fucking hard. Post partum C-section I was in the gym, tummy wrapped, 10 days after my operation. I am an example of how being physically prepared for whatever may come your way during pregnancy and post birth, will result in a strong, healthy recovery. To receive emails putting it all at jeopardy was unacceptable. It was so ugly I won’t share any of them here. Eventually, I got my lawyers at Dingley Marshall Inc involved to trace the company’s owners and send out a letter of demand to refrain from harassment.

INSTAGRAM
There is this account on Instagram where memes are being made of ‘influencers.’ Yeah it was funny and silly at first, until accusations and disrespectful commentary came into play. At one instance I was targeted, gaining the account some clout. The account and its posts became a platform of hate. So instead of chilling around the pool or dinner table exchanging verbal irritation, people became very comfortable with expressing their annoyance and hate for people in these posts. Damaging things were being said about my body and my marriage. I don’t tolerate bullying of any kind. I have had enough, and my lawyer drafted up a letter of demand of copyright infringement and defamation, we would lay charges if they didn’t take everything published of me down. They did so immediately.

Facebook and Instagram
I have had many fake Insta accounts comment trash on my photos. In this one instance, this girl (not fake) would comment things like “how come you show us your bum but you cant show your sons face?” on my photos. I laugh it off. I have a great sense of humor. If someone is taking the time out of their day to type a negative comment and click post, surely you are entertained? Until it got more intense, I received screenshots of posts of mine that have been shared and then captioned with trashing negative statements or screenshotted and reposted, I can’t recall the finer detaisl. Posted by the same person, a lady. I say lady because she’s an adult, a mommy too. It’s not a fake account. It’s not someone hiding behind another account or someone using a company’s email. I continued to receive more screenshots from various people showing me the hectic comments, and the clout gained, by influx of friends commenting on pictures of me she has reposted to her social media accounts. Her saying I’m the devil, I’m disgusting, I’m a rude person, I’m fake because I go for all those body treatments and stuff, also my face and stuff, I’m trash. Calling me a bad mother. On and on. What also obviously happened was negative commentary. So, people jumped on the bandwagon and it created another opportunity to openly hate me. People were commenting on my marriage, my husband. It got really ugly. She then posted long statuses about how she doesn’t hate me and how people need to go tell me ‘she doesn’t hate me she just thinks I’m gross and I’m just trying to sell my glow cleanse kak.’ This is all while I’m trying to make it through my session at the gym. This woman is publishing these comments on her Insta stories and on her open Facebook profile. Published on a working day, from her office desk, at her job. I get messages from friends and acquaintances, and people I don’t even know, reaching out, even on Twitter, saying this isn’t the first time she has bashed me, my brand, my business, my work. All this while I didn’t share any of the negative comments on any of my social media platforms. So how did people know what she was posting? It was already circulating. Her publishing these statements caused financial damage to my online business and my brand. It created doubt and questions. It detracted from what I do for women, for people, for their health, their marriages and their lives. People shifted their focus onto other parts of me. They talked about my personal life. My personal life isn’t up for sale. As a mother, it’s my job to protect my son and to provide for him. People should be asking for tips about making time in the day as a busy parent to work out, cook healthy meals and how to be fit for their kids? How do I get post-partum fit? People should be rushing to the gym to open a membership because they’re inspired to make that change. These are the things and the conversations that should be happening, but because of her posts, people are questioning my ability as a parent and wondering about my marriage. They’re questioning my integrity and my intentions. They also now feel that because things have been published, it is okay to also trash me. It implies I’m meek and shy and that I can be bullied. I am anything but that. I’m not going to brush it off. I’m going to stand up for myself and take action. So, I did.

My attorney sent her a letter of demand asking her to remove all posts and apologize to me publicly because she was harassing me and defaming me. She sent back a very rude reply saying how convenient that my attorney is also one of my friends (how irrelevant) and some other stuff. Leaving all the nasty posts up, public and still published. I was then advised to apply for a protection against harassment order from the court. My lawyers drafted the paperwork and sent the sheriff of the court to her place of work delivering the application and informing her to appear in court. We appeared in court twice. The first time we appeared, all the negative posts were still on her social media page. At that point, she was happy to apologize to me face to face and have me obtain the protection order, but she refused to apologize publicly. She then continued to talk about court on Facebook, this time not mentioning my name but instead painting herself as a victim, as if I had come forward to drag her. When all I wanted was for her to stop, for her to remove everything and apologize publicly. It is only fair that if she trashed me publicly, that she should apologize in the same way. Which even after our second court appearance, she still refused to do. All the while all of this is costing me money. Back and forth to court, lawyer’s fees. Time away from my son, my work. I would think a working mother would understand this.

Finally, her lawyer called a meeting where we would try and settle the matter. I am not to expose her, and she needs to publicly apologize so we can both move forward. She doesn’t get to talk about me, publish anything about me or contact me going forward. She sat across the table from me now three times. I’ve never ever met her or seen her in my entire life, until that first day in court. The way she looked at me was pure hatred, also confusion and frustration, like why am I doing this to her? I could see in her eyes all she wanted to do was hurt someone. I have no idea why I was that someone. She felt like I was trying to make an example of her. She said her comments were ‘in the spur of the moment’ and she didn’t mean for all of this to happen. Here I’m sitting, wishing none of this had to happen and that if people are triggered they should rather click unfollow. There are so many ways one can mind their own business, instead of compromising someone else’s business. My bread and butter. I will most definitely take action and protect my brand. I will do it again and again. I did it for all those times, I shut up, laughed it off, rose above it. Bashing and bullying is not okay. Hate in your private life, fine. But when you post online, it is there forever. Remember that you shouldn’t post yourself out of future jobs and opportunities. If you want to hurt someone and you have evil and hate inside of you for whatever reason, it’s safer to just find an alternative way to express yourself. Pray, have a nap, go for a run, do some yoga, drink a green juice, the options are endless before you click ‘post.’

Love Rushda
Mommy and fighter xoxo

    • And she will always rise..the realest ever!

    • I only managed to read this now, and I get it. The uncomfortable part , profound ! We still have a far way to go with regards to being comfortable seeing the female body. You have my respect and support, as it’s already difficult growing a business as a woman, then still having to deal with playground bullies. You continue on your path undeterred, and this unsavoury episode will positively impact your business. We just see images, we don’t see the blood sweat and tears behind the business. All the best going forward, you’ve definitely paved the way for others going forward that feel the brunt of severe online harassment. Xx

  1. Mymoena Classen

    Firstly, it wasn’t that long lol

    But seriously though, inspirational. I’ve been following you since I started Instagram and had my son in 2016, hella fit before him and then I made the fatal mistake of becoming comfortable. Watching you during your pregnancy and after kick ass on a daily made me vow should I ever have another kid not to make the same mistakes I did with the first one. My son and watching you get back into it after yours made me start caring about me/my body again and believe that I can get there again just to never give up. #fitmomsrock

    Don’t stop what you’re doing, there are way more women that appreciate what you do than those that hate you for being what they wish they were.

  2. Zaida Lagardien

    Wow…. I’m dumbfounded.
    I’m shocked and disturbed at the lengths people will go to make someone else’s life a nightmare. I guess this is part of the package when you are in the public eye, sadly.
    Pity her name is zaida lol she ruined my name lol!
    Great read and keep on keeping your head up Rush!
    You are an amazing trainer, strong woman and brand.

  3. This is why I support you. The strength you show is remarkable.

  4. Cindy Hobbs

    Well said! 🙌🏼

  5. You are an inspiration for me

  6. Well said Rush, people need to grow the hell up amd start focusing on their own miserable selves to make themselves better instead of placing their envy, hate and anger elsewhere. Women should learn to stand together and stand up for each other instead of doing the opposite. Why compete when we are all unique and different in our own special way whether it be privately or publically. Keep doing what makes you happy and fuck the judgeragger haters coz thats all they are…

  7. Rush….you are one of the most incredible women I know. How anyone can spew hate at you and your family is beyond me. I feel pity for them….but also hashtag TSEK NUH!! Lol! I love how strong you are, bold, gutsy and kind and sweet all wrapped into one. You are a force of nature, woman! And I love you so much!!

  8. Enjoyed this blog post. You go girl. Its so sad that she is an adult, let alone a mother and behaved the way she did. Lets all hope she learnt a valuable lesson. Dont let anyone dim your light, keep on shining !

  9. Wow! I loved reading this blog! And what you say about people mirroring their own imperfections, hurt and hatred is so true! It does take alot of self awareness though and thats what I loved about reading this blog. Introspection is a very tough process to go through.. As women we need to really stop the bashing and shaming and just all pull together and reaslise that we are ALL struggling in some or another way and instead of shaming another women look at ways to uplift and inspire even in the smallest of ways! Well done on pursuing this matter and standing up for yourself and in so doing many other women who face the same scrutiny and judgment.. I think you’re an inspiration.. Keep fighting the good fight! 💪

  10. You are amazing and an inspiration to so many. Will continue to support you.

  11. You’re incredible and a massive inspiration!!!
    Thank you for being you and growing a glowing team of sexy, self confident and knowledgeable bae’s slaying every day xxx

  12. Rush – if only people actually knew you personally. xx

  13. Yaasss girl! Never stop slaying you goddess! Keep on motivating us females trying to love our bodies. You’re not doing this only for yourself but for every female out here trying to embrace our bodies day by day. You’re amazing!

  14. Deidre de Wet

    It’s astonishing how woman can’t support woman. And I think its mainly jealousy. But you are a beautiful woman who inspires other mother’s to look and feel good and it is awesome! My little guy is 3 months old and thanks to you, I’m getting my sexy back! LOL

  15. qaanita_khan_jacobs #classyevents

    hun, you worked your ass off.. gosh i commented on your daily posts and all your advise you’d give. defs you worked your ass off and to earn and maintain your trophy bod… and yes i mostly comment on your hijaabati moments lol bt i would never ever ever judge your posts and pics.. sshhh i many times say im prob designed fat so that i could easier embrass my hijaab cos damn if i had it id prob have flaunted hahahaha. each to their own…im talking about my reasons here… anyway, you are a motivation for us moms who lose hope for thinking babies and csectuons is a fate of fatness / obesity for eternity .. i must also just add that i take my hat off to zaida (whom i know from a bar of soap) for the strength and courage she portraid in her apology. takes a damn courages and strong women with true values to admit she was wrong and apologies as publicly as she err’d. you both are strong and yes although she has caused great temporary harm to your reputation, your body and those of us who matter ‘your true fans and friends’ knows that all you did was pure blood sweat and tears… babes you are damn strong and no1 can take that from you. especially not rumours. love always…

  16. I’m so amazed at the lengths people will go to hurt others. I absolutely admire your confidence and ability to stand up confidently for what you believe in.
    I hope people learn from this. The internet allows for so much hate without being held accountable.
    Well done Rush! You’re an inspiration!

  17. Wow Rush. Incredible how people actually take time out of their day to invest in hatred. Such a waste of energy.
    Imagine if these people actually used their energy for something positive.

    Oh the possibilities. ….

  18. Letisha du plessais

    This is such a profound read. I want to thank you Rushda for standing up for yourself, for all of us that gets body shamed, Mommy shamed when nobody knows our struggle. I bought your glow cleanse diet and I will admit it is still a challenge to apply all the learnings but damn I feel good, I have more energy and mostly I am learning to love my body. This cleanse I have for life and if I don’t get it right I just try again. It’s the best value that I could invest in myself. Continue what you do!

  19. Martinique

    You are such a strong individual! Being cyber bullied isn’t easy at all.. I’ve been through it as well.. Remain strong and beautiful!

  20. Omw lady, I am beyond shocked,
    how people even get to this point (hatred) beats me 😮 Rushda the fact that ‘another woman’ can even inflict this kind of evil just breaks my heart as a woman I usually compliment another, my heart smiles when I see another like me excel…You did absolutely no harm to this person and others that tried to bash you and to get this type of treatment just not acceptable!!!
    If anything you are an inspiration, you beautiful, strong, damn funny, good mother and from what I have seen a loving wife and you did not deserve this kak man…

    I am so sorry, you kicked back well, but still not cool😢

    People wonder what is wrong with our world…Stupid senseless Jealousy!

    You were right and oh so brave for fighting back the way you did, you work hard & protecting your own adds to your amazing character, you have a Brilliant Brand👌 can people not just focus on that rather? Your amazing body is a result of the love you have for yourself and helping other woman get there is the most selfless thing I have ever heard of and this is what happened to you??? Wow just fuck’n wow!!! this is just not fair on you as a person…you never hurt or hate anyone…you help, you guide, you care, you love and you restore…I’m confused how can such a person be hated?

    Sadly people don’t realize the actual impact these bashing actually takes on a person it’s hectic…(been there different case but it still hurts) especially if you know yourself…

    You are amazing lady, these experiences just adds another jewl to your beautiful crown!

    Thanks for sharing

    God Bless you Rushda

  21. 💥👌🏽👍🏼💥👏🏻👏🏼👏🏾 BRAVA … ❤️💥on

  22. Amazing article… so much substances. Its not OK to be unkind or hurt another human. If we have differences of opinion..lets agree to disagree …we are all answerable for our own action. End girl hate.. well done Rushy..xxxx

  23. Lindsay Ohlson

    Wow, huge respect for you
    ❤️💯🙏

  24. Hi Rush, well done to you bullying to anyone is a No No and I am so happy I love you and your brand. You do so well for woman and I just want to thank you. Thanks to my friend Narique to introducing me to your diet and getting me to buy it. Keep up the good work and well done for all you do for the woman out there.

  25. Goosebumps!❤ Viva!

  26. Very well said.. little do people know the behind the scenes of achieving ur goal or success..
    It takes hard work..

  27. Awesome response – you amaze me … keep shining girl … more women need to stand up like u

  28. Rizqah Rylands

    I salute you in standing up against any form of bullying. That’s why we as women can never stick together because of all this unnecessary negativity. When we are here to help each other not bring another down.

    Keep up the good work.
    PS: my hubby has joined in on this glow cleanse green juice k#*” with me lol and his loving his results in weeks 2.

    Love
    Rizqah

  29. You have more lovers than haters. Only surround yourself with positivity. Stay strong Rush

  30. You are remarkable! And it will get better.

  31. You are a true inspiration, I have been following you for years and never made contact for obvious introverted reasons, but I absolutely admire you, your successes and your Motivating page.

  32. Well done!

  33. Well done Dear.
    I don’t understand how can a woman do this to another woman. I mean we are supposed to uplift each other, instead of hating.
    Keep shining, love you 😘🤗

  34. “Bashing and bullying is not okay.” I just love you… and wanna be just like you when i grow up (even tho im older😋)

  35. Got to know u for a quick few sessions, ur a #DamnAwesumYoungLady!!! I will always support u no matter what these #Hoodrats trying to do. #KeepUrGoodworkComing..luv always #RushTushForLife

  36. Keep doing what you doing Rush – if there are haters out there, they should just unfollow you! Its as simple as that. We are all going to be answerable for things we do/don’t do – no one is an angel so who are we to point fingers at others? On another note, I wish I looked half how you looked after giving birth… the haters are just jealous and insecure….. Always stay true to yourself. You look like you doing an awesome job being a mom!!!!

  37. Aa’ishah

    Well done and keep on doing what you are doing! You are such an inspiration and simply love watching your stories!

  38. snyders.lauren

    Love you, RushTush! Good on you for protecting your brand, name and business. You do such amazing work for us ladies. Keep at it! <3

  39. This is amazing! Keep up the hard work, its shining through xx

  40. Hurt people, hurt people! They bash & criticise & judge in others what they wish they had. I was one of those people, hating privately but too coward to post it online, until I started following you. You inspired me to start loving myself & my body and to take better care of it. With all your success & all this stuff going on, you still make time to engage with your followers, which is so commendable. Know that even though people will try to discredit you, the women who truly believe in your message will never be swayed by false claims. Keep pushing & inspiring. Much love!

  41. Seriously cyber bullying is the reason why most famous/influential people end up taking their own lives. Because each negative comment/bash posted really ends up affecting people’s mental health. Sometimes people forget that even the famous and the rich are human. We all know what an amazing strong woman you are rushtush and I love that you’ve always got your own back. But people need to realize that if they have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. Keep on doing you, and this is your journey May the Almighty continue to bless your business. And honestly about that nasty comment of ‘not showing your son’ s face…’, I’m so proud that you don’t show his face. His an innocent Mashallah baby, and I do belive in the evil eye and jealousy. So keep on protecting him as far as you can. Other than that you’ re awesome! And I love watching your insta stories. I also think you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself and that you deserve a break, like a holiday on an island or something. (ps maybe it’s because I’m a student and this is my 6th year os studying and I need that vacay). But anyway may the Almighty continue to bless and enrich your life. You truly are an inspiration for thousands of women out there. Let the rest of the minority be rotten sour apples.

  42. Well done ,people will hate no matter what u do in life,I really admire what u wrote ,woman will hate you even if they know shit about you. Keep on inspiring us

  43. Fatiema Adams

    Awesome is an understatement…..Good for you Girl!!! You inspire and motivate and you do an absolutely fab job in portraying the beauty and potential of women…..
    Makes me want to really start your programme….
    Wishing you nothing but strength love and all the good things in life to carry on doing what you do….
    Much love
    Fatiema

  44. Dalreece Rankin-Andreas

    Each and every day my respect and admiration grows for you, I’m glad I finally got a chance to read the blog and I’m once again in awe of you and your power .

  45. Wow this is so powerful. You are one amazing woman and mom! Keep it up and thanks for sharing This!! !

  46. Martinique

    Your an inspiration to me and I have picked up so many healthy habits from following you. Thanks for sharing. You are an amazing woman.

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