Monica Lewinsky's Twitter response to a viral prompt on the platform Friday offered a look back at the Bill Clinton sex scandal and applause from fans. Lewinsky's affair with former President Bill Clinton in 1995 as a White House intern was non-stop scandal in the day, but today she tackles her infamous notoriety with humor as a way to combat cyberbullying. That strategy served her well when Friday's UberFacts Twitter poll asked reflected on a questionb from earlier in the week referring to the 1990s.
For Lewinsky, all she needed was a slight eye emoji to get her point across. When the UberFacts poll asks, "What's the most high-risk, low-reward thing you've ever done?" Lewinsky can't help but return to her '90s days a bit and relive the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal with humor.
Lewinsky did similar on Monday, responding to a more specific post about the decade. "If Twitter were around in the '90s, name a famous event/moment that definitely would've had the TL in shambles," wrote user "Idris Elbow" on Sunday night. The prompt took off, with all kinds of responses from different people, but Lewinsky's might have been the winner. She wrote simply: "not playing," indicating that she would not join in on the speculation. The reserved tone of the commentary, heavy with nothing but implications, had her followers rolling with laughter. Lewinsky's post has over 188,000 likes and climbing.
Lewinsky and her followers are all well aware that if Twitter had existed in the 1990s, it would have been preoccupied with her for years after the scandal broke. Today, Lewinsky is an anti-cyberbullying activist and has given TED Talks on the way that public scrutiny impacts a person like her. Many users praised her for her ability to drop random jokes about it like this one.
Monica Lewinsky just won the internet for today https://t.co/tOf0pHgIjT— Joaquin Barroso (@joaquinbarroso) May 21, 2021
"Monica in all realness your ability to joke about something that at one point the world bullied you about displays such powerful inner healing and peace AND you do it with grace. Icon behavior," one person commented. "You are an inspiration to anyone who has trauma from judgment and internalized shame." Another person added simply: "You're so damn good at Twitter," while a third wrote: 'I've had martinis less dry than this tweet. Well done."
Lewinsky had nine "sexual encounters" with Clinton between 1995 and 1997, at which point she was transferred from the White House to the Pentagon. As the scandal unfolded publicly, Lewinsky was put through the ringer of public humiliation, cast as an innocent victim by some and as a social climber by others. In her recent work, she has indicated that neither is entirely accurate.
Lewinsky tried to capitalize on her publicity in the years after the scandal, doing product endorsements and other TV work. However, in 2005 she stepped out of the spotlight by moving to London, England where she got a Master's degree in psychology. She returned to the limelight in the U.S. in 2014, sharing essays and lectures on public shaming campaigns using both her own experience and scientific data. She continues to champion her message of acceptance to this day.