The Sarah Michelle Gellar InstaFail
Have you heard about this controversy? Sarah Michelle Gellar, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, posted up a sexy lingerie photo of herself with the caption:
And the internet exploded. Not about her sexy photo, but because she was ‘fat shaming. Some comments include:
“How empowering for women! Disappointing to use your platform to promote thinspiration on a once a year holiday that should be about togetherness and gratitude.” Another said, “As a 5 year recovered anorexic I am telling you this is unacceptable. Why would you set his as an example for young girls? Unbelievably despicable.”
She ended up issuing an apology saying it was meant to be funny. “It’s come to my attention that some people think I was ‘fat shaming’ with this post. That could not be further from my intentions. I love Thanksgiving and unfortunately my eyes are often bigger than my stomach, and I tend to eat so much I make myself sick. This was a joking reminder to myself not to do that. I’m terribly sorry that people were offended by my attempt at humor. Any one that knows me, knows I would never intentionally ‘shame’ any one on any basis. I am a champion of all people.”
So here’s my take on it.
I’ll bet she came across those sexy lingerie photos of herself and thought, “Hmm, I really like how I look in these pictures. I really want to post them on Instagram, but people will think I’m bragging. I know! I’ll write a self-deprecating thing about overeating so people won’t be mad at me!”
Scrolling through my own feed yesterday I saw tons of posts about overeating and jokes to ‘set your scales back 10 pounds’, I think she just hit a nerve for some people.
As a personal trainer I found this post particularly interesting because it’s a visualization technique I’ve sometimes suggested to my own weight loss clients. I tell them to find a picture of themselves where they felt their very best – confident, strong, sexy (insert your empowered adjective here) and to tape it to their bathroom mirror or inside their pantry door as a visual cue to remind them of their fitness goal – which is to be the best version of themselves. Granted, it’s a picture they’re posting in their own home and not on the internet, but if a neighbor came over and saw it would they say, “You’re fat shaming!”? Let’s hope not.
I’m pretty sensitive to people who feel fat shamed, but in this case I feel like they are overreacting. She didn’t write, “I’m better than you because I’m thin” or even imply that, like the Dear Fat People video did, so I think people should ease up here.
On a related note – did you know that I was actually on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? For real! I had five lines in an episode called “Beer Bad”. Sarah Michelle Gellar was on the set but we didn’t have a scene together. I did have a scene with Xander though 😉 But I digress…
What do you think? Was she fat shaming people or was this a non-controversy?
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Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on Bowflex.com. She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Texas Monthly. She blogs at ShesLosingIt.com and is passionate about her clients.
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