For the second time in just a couple of days, Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard is facing the wrath of angry Canadians on the internet, after she made a somewhat careless comment on her Instagram page. Sharing a photo of herself in her tennis gear, Bouchard asked her followers, “Why do my arms stay mad skinny but my stomach gets so fat?”
Naturally, the post drew almost immediate backlash, with several users calling Bouchard out for ‘attention-seeking,’ while a number of others described her post as sending an ‘unhelpful’ and ‘dangerous’ message to her younger followers about body image. One user even went as far as to call the 25-year-old a “Canadian disgrace,” asking, “What kind of role model are you supposed to be for not just women, but young women? [sic].”
This is the second time in just a few days that Eugenie has caught the attention of the Canadian public and for all the wrong reasons. On Sunday, the tennis-player was widely criticized online after posting a tweet about Serena Williams’ Rogers Cup loss. When fellow Canadian Bianca Andreescu took the victory after Williams’ withdrew due to injury, Bouchard wrote on Twitter, “Sooooo basically I coulda won the Rogers Cup."
After receiving widespread criticism for her tweet on Sunday, you’d have been forgiven for thinking Bouchard may have tried harder to keep her subsequent social media posts unproblematic. However, her attempts, if she made any, were futile, as her most recent Instagram post drew an equal amount of criticism from the public.
A common theme in the comments on her Instagram post mentioned how she is likely a role model for thousands of young Canadians, and by calling her own (clearly slim and conventionally-aspirational) physique ‘fat,’ could be damaging to the self-esteem of her young followers.
One Instagram user responded to the post to say, “Clearly giving the wrong message to young girls, there are young girls looking up to you and saying your stomach is big gives the wrong impression to young girls. I’m so glad there are new Canadian players setting the right example.”
While another added, “Just stop. You know you are not fat. This is not helpful to the girls that follow you. You want a six pack? That's your right. Cut out the carbs and tell your trainer that's what you want. Stop equating no abs for being fat.”
As well as the countless comments criticizing Bouchard for the effect her post could have on her younger following, a number of other users accused the tennis star of ‘attention-seeking,’ with one Instagrammer writing, “I’m finding it so difficult to be a fan of hers any longer. So vain, seeking attention, and no game to back it up. Why Genie?”
In response to her post, one follower wrote, “Someone's looking for some attention tonight.” While another agreed, adding, “Here’s the attention you ordered.”
Some users were pretty harsh with their criticisms, with one person commenting, “You’re pathetic if you’re craving for attention that much you should try winning a game... You’re supposed to be a role model for girls now, how many of them will feel bad about themselves looking at this post…”
Another wrote, “You are an example to little girls! Stop using the word fat! Especially when you appear toned and athletic. Diet culture and fat mentality is hurting women. Can we please move on from the obsessive focus on women’s appearance?”
That said, others sympathized with Bouchard, leaving comments such as, “All looks pretty perfect to me,” and “So many blatant arrogant bullies commenting on this. Genie you look amazing and if you don’t think so, that’s okay. Many young women struggle with body image. Keep doing you girl.”
Despite the backlash, it is unlikely that Eugenie will be too fazed by the criticism, tweeting on Thursday that she doesn’t read any negative comments, saying “life is too good for me to waste energy on anything negative.”