Anyone scrolling through Instagram the past day or so might have noticed that Amanda Seyfried is fighting with an influencer. The same people may have also felt very confused. Why is their favourite Mamma Mia! star is in the midst of this feud with Arielle Charnas, someone Seyfried referred to as a "semi-influencer"?
Well, it has to do with a post-baby photo that Seyfried feels is very misleading. But, like most feuds, there's more to this story than meets the eye. That's why it's worth taking a closer look at this Instagram quarrel that has a lot of people talking.
Who Is Arielle Charnas?
She is the Instagram influencer behind the lifestyle blog Something Navy, which launched in 2009. On it, Charnas shows off her personal style. She's become a brand in her own right. While Something Navy's Insta account has 237,000 followers, Charnas has 1.2 million followers via her personal account.
Why Is Seyfried So Upset With Charnas?
It has to do with a postpartum photo Charnas posted on Instagram earlier this week of herself in a bikini. "Proud of my body after two kids," she captioned the shot, which got mixed reviews from her followers. While most were in full support of the post ("You look amazing, and more importantly you are feeling amazing," read one comment), there were others who were not. "While you look amazing (knowing how thin you were pre baby) this is a super super unrealistic (and frankly unachievable) goal for 99% of women post or pre baby," one follower commented.
A day later, Seyfried posted a screengrab on Instagram of a comment her friend left on Charnas' photo, which also criticised the influencer for "glorifying an unhealthy body image" and "just perpetuating the patriarchal (totally unrealistic) notion that mothers should 'bounce back' after childbirth."
The comment, which asked Charnas to be more transparent about how her "wealth made your workouts/body possible," resulted in Charnas blocking Seyfried and her friend, according to the actress. "Even though I didn’t tag her," Seyfried wrote, "at least she’s getting the message."
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Fuck it- this is feed material. My very smart friend (again-not tagging) wrote this on a semi-influencer’s feed and she blocked both of us (even though I didn’t tag her-at least she’s getting the message). If we’re ready to get paid for flaunting our lifestyle (and inspiring some in the meantime) we have to be open to the discussions surrounding what we’re promoting. We have to back ourselves up- not run away from the issues it presents. There are gray areas everywhere. Each of us has a chance to back ourselves- especially on this platform. If you know who you are- take a second to decide if what you’re throwing out there is worth it- in the big picture. 👊🏼
What Was The Message Seyfried Tried To Send?
In the caption, Seyfried explained that she wanted Charnas' Instagram post to start an honest dialogue. "If we’re ready to get paid for flaunting our lifestyle (and inspiring some in the meantime) we have to be open to the discussions surrounding what we’re promoting," Seyfried, who is the mother of a two-year-old daughter, wrote.
The post received support from followers, and one even commented that "every influencer...needs to read this." There were others, though, who thought Seyfried had gone too far. "You are truly so far off the mark on this one," one person wrote. "Being confident in what she looks like shouldn’t be shit on by you or anyone else."
Later that same day, Seyfried posted a photo of herself with the message: "Influence=Power. And if you're taking advantage of that, EMPOWER." She captioned the post, "Goodnight, all, and thanks for a much needed discussion. I’m tired!"
Has Charnas Responded To Seyfried?
Beyond Seyfried's claims that Charnas blocked her on Instagram, the influencer did talk about the feud in a now expired Instagram Story. In it, Charnas addressed the feud, reportedly claiming she was "bullied" and "punished" for being thin, according to Elle.
On Thursday (July 11), Charnas' husband Brandon posted a #tbt photo of his bikini-clad wife with a caption that took aim at her critics. "***WARNING*** THIS BODY IS NOT ATTAINABLE. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ATTAIN SUCH BODY BY WORKING OUT," he wrote. He then ended the caption with another note: "please note such warnings have been provided for in compliance with the ABSA or the American Body Shaming Association."
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#tbt in honor of my upcoming birthday ***WARNING*** • THIS BODY IS NOT ATTAINABLE •PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ATTAIN SUCH BODY BY WORKING OUT •IF YOU ATTEMPT TO ATTAIN, YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST THREE NANNYS AND BE SURE TO NOT ONLY PAY THEM BUT ALSO THANK THEM IN A MINIMUM OF 4 SHOUTOUTS A WEEK ON INSTAGRAM •IF YOU CANT AFFORD A NANNY, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HAVE A VERY SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN ORDER TO DO SO •GENETICS MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE PLAYED A FACTOR •ONLY AGES 30 AND OLDER ARE ALLOWED TO VIEW THIS POST, YOUTH MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A THERAPIST ***please note such warnings have been provided for in compliance with the ABSA or the American Body Shaming Association*** #Repost @brandoncharnas ・・・ Getting to marry this one is the best 29th birthday present I could ever ask for. #cantwait
Did Seyfried Apologise?
On Thursday, Seyfried apologized to anyone who felt "thin-shamed" by this whole thing on Instagram. While she doesn't regret starting this discussion about the power celebrities and influencers have on social media, she does regret how it started.
"The only thing I’d take back is exactly how I started this debate," she wrote. "I desperately wish it hadn’t targeted (or blasted) one person (there are MANY who engage in this questionable messaging) and instead started a cleaner, general conversation. No one needs to tear anyone apart."
She added, "To the lady in question: I’m sorry for the truly negative feels you’ve endured because of this."
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To all who feel bullied or thin-shamed during our recent social media discussion: If you know me or are familiar with any of my beliefs or stances you’ll recognize that it isn’t in my character to tear down anyone for “being who they are”. Each of us has the ability and the freedom to say and do as we choose. However, as I’m acutely aware, there’s a price tag for the group of people who find themselves with a platform to stand on. You have to be aware of the message you’re sending and be able to back it up when faced with criticism (not just praise). Hold yourselves accountable instead of using the terms above. The only thing I’d take back is exactly how I started this debate. I desperately wish it hadn’t targeted (or blasted) one person (there are MANY who engage in this questionable messaging) and instead started a cleaner, general conversation. No one needs to tear anyone apart. And I regret that it’s present right now. To the lady in question: I’m sorry for the truly negative feels you’ve endured because of this. Aside from the messy detour? The bigger, important message seems to filtering through and helping a lot of women feel supported. And that’s the name of the game.