Winnie Harlow defends her 'fat shaming' joke

By Nici De Wet
13 July 2017

Winnie Harlow raised eyebrows when she allegedly fat-shamed a man onboard a yacht with her...

Winnie Harlow raised eyebrows when she allegedly fat-shamed a man onboard a yacht with her, but it turns out it was all part of a "big joke" she says.

In a since-deleted video posted on her Instagram page, the 22-year-old model, who has always been an advocate for body confidence, zoomed in on her pal as he lay back in a pair of yellow swimming shorts, captioning the shot, "Sexy views... you're welcome".

Her post caused outrage with users calling her "vile" and another fuming, "It's never ok to humiliate and make fun of other people."

A third raged: "You're SUPPOSED to be a role model! You of all people should have thought twice before uploading that picture. At least the guy in the picture can lose the weight!"

But Winnie quickly responded in a lengthy Instagram post, saying the man in question is like an uncle to her and they were just sharing a joke - he was deliberately pushing out his stomach for the camera.

I Normally don't respond to false stories but wanted address one that appeared today which said I was mocking a stranger over their appearance in "yellow swim pants" sorry to disappoint yall but that's something I would never do. Tabloids will always look for your downfall, even if it means making things up without fact checking. The guy in question is like an uncle to me and we were sharing a joke, not some random person the media is trying to make seem like I'm fat shaming.. We are all on holiday together and have been having an amazing time (including the jokes we crack on each other). He was actually poking his tummy out More for the photos and videos we were taking. Sexy Uncle T is enjoying his media fame right now so thanks at least for that. Watch out for him on my live stories when we're back on the boat but please guys, don't believe everything you read. Love, Winnie xx (& @cardinalterry)

A post shared by ?Winnie Harlow? (@winnieharlow) on

What are your aspirations in life? ?? ?:@thejonnyhynes A post shared by ?Winnie Harlow? (@winnieharlow) on

Winnie, who suffers from vitiligo - a condition where pale white patches develop on the skin, due to a lack of melanin - is no stranger to body shaming, admitting last year she was heavily bullied at school. Speaking to CNN Style, she says she was eventually forced to drop out of high school after being cruelly labeled "cow" and "zebra".

However, she says she's become stronger since. "I learned to love who I am despite what anyone would say about or to me. This gave me the courage to really stand up to anyone or any obstacle in my life."

Source: Instagram, Mirror UK, Daily Mail

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