It’s always wonderful to watch a body-shaming troll get shut down online — and 24-year old model Lesego “Lee” Legobane is the most recent body-positive activist to do just that with four simple words: “I don’t like you.”
After Legobane discovered that her photo was included as part of an insulting side-by-side meme titled “Girls I like vs Girls that like me” on Twitter, Legobane responded with her now-viral tweet.
The South African body-positive activist, who tweets under the handle ThickLeeYonce, told BuzzFeed News that she felt the need to respond because “He [Twitter user Leyton Mokgerepi, who was the originator of the meme] had to know his place, so I decided to reply because I felt he was being rude.”
Her clapback set the Twittersphere into a frenzy, garnering the likes of celebrities like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Ava DuVernay among more than 770,000 likes and counting.
The type of meme created by Mokgerepi is a popular mechanism of social media body shaming by comparing two people — who more often than not are women — and declaring one as the ideal while implying that the other is “less than.”
This contributes to an already strong trend of policing women’s bodies on social media and otherwise, where everyone from everyday women to celebrities like Beyoncé and Selena Gomez are picked apart and compared with others based on their looks. Even Rihanna has dealt with online trolls — and her response to fat shamers was perfect. On the other end, men that show interest in seemingly “imperfect” women are praised for the simple act of being attracted to their significant others.
“I hate it when men think that fat girls are desperate and that we like every other guy ‘cause we don’t have options,’” Lagobane told HuffPost. “It’s utter nonsense. I can be fat and still be out of your league.”
In Mokgerepi’s case, he went on to tweet Lagobane’s photo a second time, calling her “girlfriend goals” and seeking redemption through the use of a few too many fire emojis. When talking to HuffPost UK, he maintained that he did not mean to shame “big girls.” “I’m a good guy. I didn’t mean to make her feel bad about herself,” he said. He also sent the publication a photo of a plus-size woman he previously tweeted, saying “I have mad love for thick honnies.” Boy, bye!
The masterful shutdown is the latest conversation starter in an increasingly body-positive environment. As women continue to showcase pride in who they are, brands are also taking note. This season’s New York Fashion Week saw an increase in body diversity and the introduction of anti-chafing thigh bands on the runway, and Kmart recently announced the renaming of its “plus size” department.
What Do YOU Think?
Did you enjoy Lagobane’s response? Should there be a wider conversation about body shaming on Twitter? Have you ever gotten shamed on social media? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments section.