Sarah Michelle Gellar came under criticism this weekend after posting what appeared to be a harmless Thanksgiving joke on Instagram.
The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star shared a set of images from her 2007 Maxim photo shoot, in which she poses in black lingerie and an unbuttoned men’s white shirt, with her toned stomach on display.
Gellar joked that she was using the photos as inspiration to eat less at Thanksgiving.
Despite receiving over 165,000 likes, some fans slammed the 41-year-old actress for the words she wrote in the caption, claiming it was sending out a bad message to those with eating disorders.
“Wow @Sarahmgellar first time I’ve ever been disappointed with one of your posts. Very dangerious (sic) and insensitive wording here,” wrote one Instagram commenter.
Another said: “The caption is really damaging to people with eating disorders or body dysmorphia. I urge you to edit your caption to something less harmful.”
“Because women don’t have enough reminders to starve themselves and stress about eating…” added another disappointed fan.
“I think she looks stunning, it’s the message that her caption sends that I have a problem with,” wrote one Instagram user, “because it perpetuates a mentality that promotes eating disorders and unhealthy obsession with having a “perfect,” body.”
The mother-of-two also had her defenders, who left their messages of support and challenged those criticizing the photo.
“People take everything offensively nowadays, it’s getting ridiculous,” said one fan. “What’s the issue with saying you don’t want to over eat? You’re meant to eat until satisfied, not until you’re hunched over in pain.”
Another added: “As a former anorexic and bulimic, I don’t see any harm or malice in the post. She looks amazing and shouldn’t be shamed for looking that way. You are also body shaming her for the way she looks.”
“I saw this and was like damn, I wish I looked like Sarah!” one commenter wrote. “I’m also sorry people had to turn your post into a negative one.”
Meanwhile, Gellar’s celebrity friends took to the comment section to lighten the mood.
“Is it weird if I pin these pics of you in my house too?” wrote “Saved By The Bell” star Tiffani Thiessen. While Debra Messing simply added: “Are you KIDDING ME!?!”
Gellar eventually responded to the backlash, offering her apologies to anyone she may have offended by writing her own comment in the post.
“It’s come to my attention that some people think I was ‘fat shaming’ with this post,” she wrote on Tuesday. “That could not be further from my intentions. I love Thanksgiving and unfortunately my eyes are often bigger than my stomach, and I tend to eat so much I make myself sick. This was a joking reminder to myself not to do that. I’m terribly sorry that people were offended by my attempt at humor. Any one that knows me, knows I would never intentionally ‘shame’ any one on any basis. I am a champion of all people.”