A friend asked for my thoughts on a series of Instagram stories posted by Singaporean blogger and influencer Wendy Cheng, or popularly known as Xiaxue.
She went on to opine that “morbidly obese people … gorge themselves on 30 burgers a day” and that they “should never be seen as attractive”.
Quite apart from the rather offensive language used, the problem with Xiaxue’s posts is what is missing.
And what is missing is an acknowledgement of the fact that maybe – just maybe – certain plus-size people are not at fault for their size.
That perhaps the subject of her vitriol does not eat 30 burgers a day. That perhaps there is an underlying medical condition and/or medication – such as thyroid issues or hormone treatments – causing weight gain, rather than irresponsible over-eating.
Of course, if indeed it is proven that an individual’s obesity is directly linked to irresponsible over-eating, it may well be wise for said individual to choose a healthier and more balanced diet. It would also be prudent for that individual’s community to encourage them to make such a choice, and to support them on their personal journey.
It is, however, not acceptable for others to use derogatory language and make unfounded assumptions about another person’s lifestyle and decisions, particularly in an era where many are struggling with mental health issues due to social media.
Xiaxue proceeds to explain the reasoning behind her posts, which is that “the media is constantly glorifying morbid obesity”, controversially suggesting that individuals like La’Shaunae should not be permitted to post positive photos of themselves on platforms such as Instagram.
While these comments do come across as highly discriminatory, the bigger concern is instead what might actually lie behind her (possibly defamatory) posts, which may well not – surprise, surprise – be a (misguided) attempt to raise awareness about healthy living.
Indeed, much can be gleaned about a person who confidently refers to herself as “rude af” in her Instagram bio and who, in her more recent stories, proudly stated that “the more triggered you are the more I enjoy pissing you off”.
If then, this person with more than 600,000 Instagram followers explicitly takes pride in rudeness and deliberately seeks to offend others, I do wonder who it is that actually needs to consider what the word ‘responsible’ really means.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.