Instagram Model Compares Her Life To Rice Workers, Gets Called Out For Being Insensitive In 19 Replies
Instagram influencer Natalie Schlater has 12K followers and 652 posts under her belt, but this particular one caused a lot of heat online. At first glance, this Instagram photo of Schlater in a bikini in front of a rice farm looks a lot like her other uploads. But it’s the caption that stands out. “Thinking about how different my life is from the man picking in the rice field every morning,” it read. People immediately thought that this Instagram celebrity came across as a shallow, privileged person, but the woman herself said it the whole thing was a big misunderstanding.
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Image credits: natalie_schlater
Indonesia is the third-largest producer of rice in the world (the first is India and the second is China), so it’s pretty clear that rice production is an important part of the country’s economy. In fact, rice is a staple food in Indonesia as people routinely eat it. The average Indonesian can eat rice three times a day. In fact, some Indonesians don’t consider it’s eating if there’s no rice in their meal. It is the main dish for every meal, accounting for more than half of the calories in the average diet. Rice is the source of livelihood for up to 20 million households or about 100 million people.
To maintain the productivity of rice land, the supply and control of water are crucial. That means Indonesia is perfect for it as the country has a really wet climate. As the country’s population continues to grow (implying more mouths that need to be fed in the future), the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) as well as several big Indonesian companies have recently initiated partnership programs with smallholder rice farmers with the aim of increasing rice production, mainly through the use of new technologies and innovative financing programs.
People immediately started reacting to Natalie’s post
Natalie was heartbroken to see this photo turned into a different light then it was originally meant to be
Image credits: natalie_schlater
“It really breaks my heart to see this photo turned into a different light of cultural appropriation and entitlement than it was originally meant to be,” Natalie told Bored Panda. “I have always loved the Indonesian people and their culture and overall attitude towards life and the people who come to visit their country.”
“I worked extremely hard (at my normal everyday job) to save up enough money to go on that trip as I do not come from wealth as it may look like from social media (I know everything on this app is not as it seems and it’s full of unrealistic expectations). People are always entitled to their own opinions and I don’t want anyone to think that I want to be pitied, but my honest original caption really did mean that the man has worked so hard his whole life for so little and I wanted to acknowledge how we really take the things we have for granted on social media and in life.”
“I completely understand that my caption can be taken wrong because of the social climate we live in today and if I could go back in time I wish I would have just worded it differently.”