She even photoshopped a picture of herself to look larger, asking, "Am I beautiful now?"

February 19, 2020

Wendy Cheng, a popular Instagram and YouTube influencer, is experiencing major backlash due to a series of comments surrounding her opinions on obesity. 

Cheng, also known as Xiaxue, usually posts to her 850,000 combined Instagram and YouTube followers about beauty tricks and makeup hacks. However, the Singaporean personality recently shared a slew of Instagram stories and posts attacking model La’Shaunae Steward for her “unhealthy lifestyle,” calling her “disgusting,” “morbidly obese,” and “irresponsible.”

"It’s one thing to be chubby or fat but this is way past that. Most morbidly obese people don’t live past 40," she wrote in previously saved Instagram Stories screenshots per Post Millenial. "The morbidly obese (like this woman) should never have been seen as attractive because death and disease isn’t an attractive full stop. Irresponsibility isn’t attractive."

Her comments were quickly addressed by a slew of folks on social media—including Steward herself. The model shared the fat-shaming posts on Twitter, questioning the motivation of people who feel the need to call out others for their weight. 

"Why are thin people this obsessed with letting me know indirectly they think I'm unattractive to them therefore I'm not worthy of love, a career, being visible, and literally telling me the age I'm going to die?" she wrote. And many of Steward's followers hailed the way she addressed the incident, slamming Cheng for being “irresponsible," "fatphobic," and "problematic."

But instead of issuing an apology, Cheng remained firm on her stance. She even shared an image of her face on a heavier body—which looks drastically photoshopped—in an effort to back her own point. "How to ensure everyone says you are beautiful in 2020," she began the post, adding "am I beautiful now?" 

Cheng went on to explain her definition of beauty—and how being "beautiful on the inside" isn't necessarily a reflection of the exterior. "PS–Don’t gimme the whole ‘you are not beautiful because u ugly on the inside’ bulls***," she wrote. "There is already a word for beautiful on the inside and it’s called ‘kind’. Beautiful refers to the outside unless otherwise specified."

She also claimed that she "never did fat shame" and that all of her comments "were reserved for the MORBIDLY OBESE only, and yes people with BMI 50 and above shouldn’t be romanticized or glorified in the media.” 

“I maintain my stance," she wrote. "Morbid obesity isn’t attractive because it leads to death and disease. This isn’t personal against anyone so it isn’t fat-shaming. And I did not ever talk about chubby or regular fat people. Stay triggered snowflakes."

RELATED: Jillian Michaels Slams PC Diet Culture: Obesity Shouldn't Be 'Glamorized'

Of course, Cheng didn't stop there, either. She continued posting about the controversy on her Instagram Stories, even sharing several photos of "morbidly obese models" with "dire health conditions."

"You think you are being noble and kind by telling them they are ok the way they are," she wrote in one of them. "I think you are being unkind because you are murdering them slowly. I think you are selfish and just want to feel good about yourself and virtue signal, which makes you a rank hypocrite because if you are honest with yourself u know being this weight is not okay, just like anorexia is not ok."

Cheng, however, isn't the first influencer or celebrity to take this specific stance on obesity. Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels recently stirred up a similar (but less harshly worded) controversy during an interview with Women’s Health UK. “I think we’re politically correct to the point of endangering people,” she told the magazine as part of their January/February issue featuring her on the cover.

While she made it clear that fat-shaming is never okay, she expressed worry that encouraging people that excess weight is desirable is more potentially harmful than anything else. "Obesity in itself is not something that should be glamorized,” the former Biggest Loser coach continued. “But we’ve become so politically correct that no one wants to say it."

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