Influencer quits Instagram after Bali bikini photo backlash

Social media influencer Natalie Schlater posed in a rice field wearing a bikini and mused about life as a field worker in Bali. (Photo: Instagram/Natalie Schlater/Someecards)

A Swedish Instagrammer has apologised to her offended followers and appears to have deleted her account after she posted a bikini photo likening herself to a rice picker in Bali.

Natalie Schlater, an Instagram influencer with 12,000 followers, recently posted a shot of herself in a white bikini, gazing out into a rice field reportedly located in Canggu.

“Thinking about how different my life is from the man picking in the rice field every morning,” she captioned the story.

But Schlater’s post wasn’t received well by all. In screenshots of comments captured by sites Bored Panda and the Daily Mail before her account disappeared, several users jumped in to call her “narcissistic” and said she was “humble-bragging”.

Instagram backlash

“Amazing how you have to be in underwear to think Deep Thoughts,” one Instagram user replied.

“From an ‘influencer’ just sounds like a little humble brag to me,” wrote someone else.

“It's the epitome of the social media generation,” another answered.

One user commented, “Narcissism, idiocy, and apathy combined”, and another said, “He most likely has self-respect is a start,” in reference to the man.

Instagrammer Natalie Schlater annoyed her followers by positioning her life to a rice worker in Bali. (Screenshot: Instagram/Natalie Schlater; SomeeCards)

Other users said it’s perfectly legitimate to criticise influencers who travel to less wealthy countries to have their photos taken.

“People who pretend to feel some emotional plights of others while they have a photographer they pay to follow them around in ‘trendy’ places which are more often than not places that live a more destitute life than them are the absolute worst,” said one opinionated instagram user. “Why should we protect these people from scrutiny?

Her response

After recognising the intense blowback from commenters, Schlater privatised her account, and updated the original caption with a lengthier one that stated her post was “extremely misunderstood”.

“I am very aware of my privileges and how grateful I am for all that I have in my life and I was recognising how hardworking and unbelievably kind the Indonesian people are and never meant to come off disrespectful,” she wrote in an Instagram post, screenshot by both sites. “That being said I am so sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings which was never ever my intention.”

She added a plea for tolerance, writing, “Please be kinder to one another and spread kindness and not hate”.

She now appears to have deleted the account altogether.

She has since apologised and made her account private - pictured here in 2016. Photo: Instagram/siempregolden

Speaking to Bored Panda, Schlater said she is disappointed about the backlash, claiming it “breaks my heart to see this photo turned into a different light than it was originally meant to be”.

She went on to say that she understands why the caption could be taken the wrong way because of “the social climate we live in today”, and added that if she could go back in time, she would have worded her musings differently.

“I have always loved the Indonesian people and their culture and overall attitude towards life and the people who come to visit their country,” she told the site.

Words by Megan Johnson for Yahoo Lifestyle US.

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