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Julia Roberts Fears For Teens On Social Media After Being Shamed In Photo With Niece

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Julia Roberts has seen firsthand that no one is exempt from the ire of internet shaming. At 56, Roberts fears for people who put themselves out there, especially teenagers, after seeing how cavalier haters can be with their negativity, some of which was directed to her in a photo Roberts posed with alongside her niece Emma.

33-year-old Emma Roberts is as familiar with the limelight as her equally famous aunt is, having made her film debut in 2001’s Blow before gaining her own Nickelodeon sitcom Unfabulous, which ran from 2004 to 2007. Aunt and niece both maintain busy schedules but that hasn’t stopped them from enjoying time together. So, when Roberts attended a tea party with her niece, the occasion was nothing but fun – until trolls got involved online.

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Julia Roberts fears for teens on social media after she was shamed in a sweet photo with her niece Emma

Emma Roberts shared a photo of her and her aunt, Julia Roberts, enjoying time together / Instagram

In terms of internet presence, Roberts joined the party relatively late, starting an Instagram account in 2018. Jump to 2024 and she has 12.2 million followers eager for updates from the Pretty Woman alum. But not everyone is there to spread positivity, a fact Roberts reflected upon in a 2018 interview with Oprah Winfrey for Harper’s Bazaar.

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“Although something did happen recently on my niece Emma’s Instagram that I think taught me a lot about what it’s like being a young person in today’s society,” Roberts recalled. “One weekend morning Emma slept over, and we got up and were having tea and playing cards and having this beautiful morning, and then a couple of days later, she posted a picture of us.”

She continued, “And the number of people who felt absolutely required to talk about how terrible I looked in the picture—that I’m not aging well, that I look like a man, why would she even post a picture like this when I look that terrible!”

Roberts discusses support and struggle

Julia Roberts worries about the negativity teens face online after she herself was criticized in a candid photo / AdMedia

“And I was amazed at how that made me feel,” Roberts added, reflecting on just how impactful those hateful digital words made her feel even at that stage of her successful life. “I’m a 50-year-old woman and I know who I am, and still my feelings got hurt. I was sad that people couldn’t see the point of it, the sweetness of it, the absolute shining joy of that photo. I thought, ‘What if I was 15?'”

Beauty influencer Samantha Marika went on to make a video highlighting Roberts’ powerful message, emphasized by the candid picture of her and Emma that so many felt compelled to attack.

The actress has shared many happy memories with her famous niece / MK386-S070922-001
Gary Mitchell/Landmark Media
WWW.LMKMEDIA.COM

Fortunately, Roberts and Emma have had plenty of opportunities to bond without the toxic eye of the internet ready to hurl insults their way; their friendship has years of nurturing to it, making for a wonderful bond that has Roberts feeling proud each day.

“When Emma comes to stay with us, I always think, ‘Please let her be the same,’ and she is still the same magical girl she used to be,” gushed Roberts.

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