Stockholm-based influencer, Natalie Schlater, has been subject to immense criticism after posting a photo caption in which she compared her life to that of a rice farmer.
In the viral Instagram post, Schlater is seen posing in a tiny bikini overlooking a rice field in Canggu, Bali and a local rice farmer. However, it was her photo caption that outraged her 12k followers.
Referring the the rice farmer that is seen in the background of her photo, she wrote: “Thinking about how different my life is from the man picking in the rice field every morning.”
Given the privilege of most influencers, it’s not surprising that the internet was quick to criticize Schlater for her message.
Many of the Instagram star’s followers felt that the post was “narcissistic” and incredibly insensitive.
One of Schlater’s followers said “ ‘The rice farmer is probably more content with their life though and not the status chasing like the rest of us.”
Another angry follower said that he influencer had no self respect, commenting: “He most likely has self respect is a start.”
Following the negative responses she received online, Natalie disabled comments on her post and took to her social media account in an effort to repair her image.
In hopes of defending herself, the “instagram model” expressed that she felt like her followers misunderstood her intentions, and wrote:
‘I am very aware of my privileges and how grateful I am for all that I have in my life and I was recognizing how hardworking and unbelievably kind the Indonesian people are and never meant to come off disrespectful.’
‘That being said I am so sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings which was never ever my intention,’ she added.
‘Please be kinder to one another and spread kindness and not hate,’ said Schlater.
However, despite apologizing for her initial message, Natalie has since deleted her Instagram account and ‘quit’ social media amidst the controversy.
In a recent interview with Bored Panda the influencer reflected on the situation, stating:
“It breaks my heart to see this photo turned into a different light than it was originally meant to be…I have always loved the Indonesian people and their culture and overall attitude towards life and the people who come to visit their country.”
“I worked extremely hard to save up enough money to go on that trip as I do not come from wealth as it may look like from social media…my honest original caption really did mean that the man has worked so hard his whole life for so little and I wanted to acknowledge how we really take the things we have for granted.”
“I completely understand that my caption can be taken wrong because of the social climate we live in today and if I could go back in time I wish I would have just worded it differently.”