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Even with the body positivity movement smoking out fat-shamers in 2017, people are still quick to make harmful assumptions about plus-size women, particularly when it comes to relationships. Being attracted to a woman bigger than a size 6 still gets treated as an exception, an act either worthy of praise or a secret shame.
On Tuesday, Lesego Legobane, a plus-size model, blogger, and body positive activist from South Africa, went viral after shutting down this ignorance in the form of a sexist, fat-shaming meme that used her Twitter profile picture as a punchline.
The meme, shared from the semi-popular South African Twitter account of someone by the name of Leyton Mokgerepi, put Legobane’s photo from a beach photo shoot side by side with a photo of another South African model, Joëlle Kayembe, in a swimsuit. The photos are captioned, “Girls that I like vs. girls that like me,” presumably a “joke” that he’s attracted to thin women like Kayembe, but attracts women he doesn’t find attractive.
It’s an amazingly shitty joke and an even more degrading meme, implying a woman’s worth or attraction is purely physical, and that being fat is unattractive.
Girls that I like vs Girls that like me pic.twitter.com/3TDfKVs7bo— Leyton Mokgerepi (@imleyton) September 19, 2017
Picture of the girls who actually like you after this post: pic.twitter.com/LXRMvkQXUd— Chad (@ItnHmn) September 19, 2017
and those before the post pic.twitter.com/yQfUCGL8QG— N☀b☀dy U Kn☀w (@ellementality) September 19, 2017
women who gave/give a shit about him at any point in his life, past, present, or future pic.twitter.com/iUPk05BrtM— snek (@weirdassatname) September 20, 2017
And those he trying to hit on pic.twitter.com/40q3sBbXbR— Nqoba Mpumi (@mpumi_ngomane) September 20, 2017
Judging by the nearly 1,500 responses Mokgerepi received on the tweet, it would appear many people disagreed with him, but it was Legobane’s response that took the cake. The guy needed to “know his place,” Legoband told BuzzFeed News. So with her message, she sent him and his shitty meme to the grave:
“I don’t like you.”
I don't like you https://t.co/91TJ5xypV8— lee (@ThickLeeyonce) September 19, 2017
It was the return shot heard ’round the Twittersphere, with Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, and Ava DuVernay all liking her response. And even after getting roasted to hell and back, Mokgerepi tried to redeem himself with a “girlfriend goals” post that didn’t go well, either.
Bwahahaha! Too little too late. Accept yer punishment sir.— ReallyDon'tTrump (@ReallyDontTrump) September 19, 2017
Kayembe, the other model, was none too pleased with the fat-shaming meme, either.
Legobane told BuzzFeed news that she’s received messages of overwhelming love and support, even from women who said her own positivity has helped them love their own bodies. As for the shameless Twitter meme, she hopes her tweet stops his messaging loud and clear.
“I hate it when men think that fat girls are desperate and that we like every other guy ’cause ‘we don’t have options,'” she said. “It’s utter nonsense. I can be fat and still be out of your league.”
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.