A sports writer is feeling the wrath of Twitter after writing a column speculating that Rihanna may have gained weight — and then worrying this could be a trend that would see “hot girls” follow her lead by putting on pounds and looking like “the Hindenburg.”
If you think that sounds crude and insulting, you’re not alone. After Chris “Spags” Spagnuolo — a writer for website Barstool Sports — said that (and more!) in a column on Tuesday, he found himself attacked by pretty much everybody on social media.
The trouble began when Spagnuolo posted a link to his column on Twitter, with the provocative caption: “Is Rihanna going to make fat the new trend?”
The link in the Twitter leads to a “Page Not Found” message, suggesting Barstool Sports has yanked the column in light of the controversy.
However, the Daily Mail published excerpts, in which Spagnuolo uses some unflattering recent photos of the “Diamonds” singer to suggest that Rihanna has gained a substantial amount of weight, which he says “means it’s time to worry if you’re not a guy who fancies himself a chubby chaser.”
He adds: “So you see her pushing 180 and it’s a tough world to stomach.” (There’s no evidence to indicate that Rihanna has gained any weight, or that she weighs anywhere near 180 pounds).
Citing Rihanna’s role as an influencer of young women, he frets that “the hottest girls” will soon gain weight to imitate her, and will eventually “look like the humans in ‘Wall-E'”.
He continues: “A world of ladies shaped like the Hindenburg loaded into one-piece bathing suits may be on the horizon now that Rihanna is traipsing around out there looking like she’s in a sumo suit. It’s a dangerous precedent.”
Suffice it to say, the column was quickly excoriated with a tsunami of tweets such as these:
One commenter even posted a screenshot of a tweet Spagnuolo issued about Rihanna back in 2009, referencing the $65,000 TMZ reportedly spent to get a photo of the singer’s injuries after she was beat up by then-boyfriend Chris Brown. “I would punch Rihanna and take a polaroid for half that,” he wrote.
Spagnuolo, however, is unrepentant, even posting a followup tweet containing all the outraged responses, complaining that he’s being “cyberbullied.”
That earned even more responses, more or less summed up by this tweet:
Nearly a week after the controversy erupted, Rihanna issued a wry Instagram post that many are assuming is directed to the body-shaming: