The Controversy of Sienna Mae

     A TikToker named Sienna Mae (@siennamaegomezz and @siennamae) has been under fire for the last couple of months now, although a recent controversial video she posted sparked major criticisms of what she really stands for.  Before I detail her controversies, I will give you the general rundown of her platform and what she does and stands for.  From what I can tell, Sienna’s goals for her platform are to promote confidence and body positivity for women and younger girls who may be struggling with their self-confidence or various eating disorders.  Sometimes she will post videos of her eating and usually says or puts in the caption, “Come eat with me!” or something along the lines of that.  I believe her aim here is to encourage people who have strained relationships with food to realize that they deserve to eat and it is important that they do so to fuel their bodies.  Along with those videos she seems to be your everyday typical TikToker, dance videos, videos of her doing trends, videos of her lip syncing, etc.

    What inspired me to write this article is this video, amongst some other things that I will get into later.  This video of Sienna’s got a lot of backlash because she is comparing her bloating before and after eating five tacos, although there seems to be very minimal bloating afterwards.  Many people were commenting saying how she is portraying unrealistic expectations and are even questioning the reality of the video.  I don’t know about you guys, but when I eat five tacos I literally look pregnant.  People are critical of her reaction to the backlash too.  Shortly after, she made a video saying how she never said she was the face of the body positivity movement, but she just wanted to promote confidence and help other people feel confident too.  Even though people in the comments are telling her how detrimental the video she made is, especially to people with eating disorders, she still has not deleted it yet.  Even if she never claimed to be the face of the body positivity movement, she still openly speaks about these topics and advocates for body positivity, and confidence and body positivity often go hand-in-hand.  People accused her of body checking in this video as well.  Body checking is essentially being in a habit of looking at yourself and measuring your body.  This can be done in the form of pinching your abdomen, taking videos of yourself sucking in your stomach or puffing it out, basically any act of looking at yourself with the intent of judging your own body.  This phenomena of body checking is a horrible habit, especially for people with eating disorders.  It promotes being obsessive about your body image and often creates a multitude of negative emotions for the people who constantly do this.  Sienna has been notorious for her body checking, and people criticize her because of what her platform is about and what she supposedly stands for.

    Another controversy of Sienna’s is her releasing merch that said “Did you eat today?” on the clothing.  Her intent was, “hoping to encourage/check in with people if they actually ate” (a statement from her clarification on the matter).  People were criticizing her for glorifying eating disorders and being insensitive about the topic.  It is uncomfortable to think about the prospect of her and her team profiting off of making merchandise about eating disorders.  Even if her intent was different, it was still perceived in a negative light by the public.  Overall, these controversies of Sienna’s make her fans and viewers question what the actual intentions of her platform are.  These criticisms bring a lot of light to the body positivity movement and how people should be going about promoting and speaking about body positivity.  Hopefully Sienna, fellow influencers, and everyone in general can educate themselves on the harm done by these types of actions and continue to learn how to better go about promoting body positivity.