Plus-size model ThickLeeyonce, real name Lesego Legobane, has found herself on the Twitter trends list following her SA Fashion Week debut on Tuesday night. Legobane said following the gig she was proud of, she went to bed “very sad” after reading body-shaming comments on social media.
“I genuinely don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of me. Zero fucks, but you know what? I was really sad. I was so anxious about walking in a fashion show with models who have years of experience and who are a lot smaller than me, I was skeptical, but my mum said: ‘Do it for the next big girl who wants to be a model but thinks it’s impossible,’ and so I did it,” she said.
Watch her runway walk below:
— MTVAfrica (@MTVAfrica) October 24, 2017
Though she received a lot of love at the show, it was the bad comments on social media that ruined her night.
“The hatred? The cruelty? The malicious comments I have to deal with? Everyday? Most days it’s whatever…but yesterday I read and read and read and read until I was numb and couldn’t feel anything anymore. It’s been four years, four years of online abuse and cyber bullying but yesterday? I got really sad,” she added.
Read her full post below:
Yesterday ws probably 1 of the best days of my life, but I ended up going to bed very sad. I genuinely don’t give a fuck wat ANYONE thinks of me. Zero fucks, but u know what? I ws really sad. I was so anxious abt walking in a fashion show with models who hv years of experience & who are a lot smaller dan me, I ws skeptical but my mum said “Do it 4 the next big girl who wants to be a model but thinks it’s impossible” & so I dd it. My moment came & the minute I stepped out all I heard ws “Leeyonce! Yaaaas! Thick lee” I look up, there are ppl screaming 4 ME! I ddnt expect any of this cos my mum nor Lerato were there (they are normally the ones who scream 4 me lol) so I lost my cool, & got so overwhelmed by the love lol I just couldn’t help but smile cos wow! The love is REAL! I feel it & I am ALWAYS grateful. Oh but the hatred? The cruelty? The malicious comments I hv to deal with? EVERYDAY? Most days its whatever…but yesterday I read & read & read & read until I was numb & cudnt feel anything anymore. Its been 4 years, FOUR YEARS of online abuse & cyber bullying bt yesterday? I got really sad. ”Don’t entertain it” ”U like playing victim” ”Be strong, don’t mind them” ”Don’t let them get you down” ”Haters girl, u know how they are” ”Just ignore it” ”U talk too much abt body positivity, ur annoying” ”Ur self love is fake cos u always entertain haters, u really insecure” I’ve heard this 4 FOUR YEARS. Imagine havin to deal with bullies 4 years & ppl tellin u “dnt mind em” Thr are days whr ppl pop up on my TL callin me terrible things, I read, block & carry on with life…evn wen it upsets me, I cnt talk abt it cos the minute I address it, “I am entertaining haters, I like attention” (thr are ppl who believe dat this is wat I want, dat I like it wen ppl say these things abt me cos “I get to play victim” imagine that. Im tired of hearing “ignore them” bcos I am expected 2 b “OK” with this. This is not OK. Dnt tel me nt 2 mind dis, cz I do. Read al of these, its nt evn a quarter of wat I read last night or wat Iv read all my life since joining SM, it’s just a glimpse, read & tell me I sud just turn a blind eye
Among other comments she received, Legobane has been told that she likes to play the victim and that she’s attention-seeking. Some criticised her runway walk, and said she was walking as if she was told there was “a sale at Shoprite”.
These were some of the comments:
“Don’t know why corporates are force feeding us ThickLee like there aren’t thick women who are actual models.”
“Thicklee is an example of an individual who forms part of a marginalized group but is also problematic and contradicts her own politics.”
“Can we call out people like ThickLee who capitalise on body positivity but live to body-shame skinny folk? How does this work?”
Legobane said though she had played part in shaming others for different reasons in the past, she had apologised for it all and felt that people had to move on.
While apologising for her wrong, she mentioned Metro FM DJ Lerato Kganyago, who has been criticised for different reasons in the past, but Kganyago hit back, saying Legobane did not have to involve her name.
“You were doing just fine until you dragged my name in! Make your point without dragging me in on this! Kinda awks this is an indirect attack!”
Legobane insisted that her tweet came from a good place, but Kganyago was still having none of it, saying if it were, she would have sent her a message instead of tweeting it.
The two said they would have a talk privately and iron things out.