Like most 20-somethings on Father’s Day, Lucy Hale celebrated her dad by sharing a throwback photo of them on Instagram. The picture, a snap of the 28-year-old and her dad at a wedding, was captioned with a sweet message for Hale’s father: “You taught me to have soul. I love you daddy.”
Seems fine enough, right? That is until you read the comment Hale tacked onto her post: “ugh I was so fat.”
There are so many things wrong with Hale’s comment, which was a response to something her friend, Scotty Cunha, said. For one, Hale is not fat in the slightest in the photo, and labelling her body as so perpetuates unrealistic body standards. Secondly, by including the word “ugh,” Hale suggests her disgust at the idea of being fat, which is really just a body type and nothing more. (Reminder: Fat and attractive are not mutually exclusive.)
Like us, the actress’s followers also took offense to her caption, with many scolding the “Pretty Little Liars” star for setting a poor example on body image for her young fans.
“Fat? That’s what you take away from this beautiful photo of you and your dad? You weren’t, and even if you were, who cares?” one person commented. “How many young girls follow you, and have now seen this? Sigh.
“Fat? You look a healthy size. Joking or not, you should be aware if your audience and recognize that kids look up to you and when trying to emulate you they could possibly be looking in the mirror saying, ‘ugh, I’m so fat,'” another added.
However, many followers pointed out that Hale used to suffer from an eating disorder, when she said she “would go days without eating” or simply eat fruit before going to gym for “three hours.”
“You have to understand that we are talking about a person that has struggled with self love and eating disorders in the past. What looks normal for us, might look fat for her,” one follower explained. “I don’t think she was trying to say that if you’re fat, you’re ugly or something like that. Just that she didn’t like her body at that time. She can’t act like she has a perfect life just because she’s famous and has fans. If she feels or felt insecure, she has a right to say it.”
While Hale, of course, is entitled to her insecurities, there is still something to say about the platform she has and the effect a comment like “I was so fat” can have on her often young and impressionable audience. And, judging from the fact that she removed the comment, Hale probably acknowledges that mistake.