Jordan B. Peterson, the influential conservative commentator, has come under fire over the past few days for sharing his negative thoughts about Numi Yu’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover.
On Monday, soon after Numi Yu’s cover was released, Peterson tweeted, “Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”
Nu previously told NBC News, “Growing up, I didn’t have someone that looked like me.” She detailed her struggles with Asian culture’s beauty standards as well as her racist peers, continuing, “Being able to fulfill this representation role for other people who see me as a role model and to also fulfill that for myself has been super healing.”
“I feel like we’re in a place right now where people are making space for more diversity on magazine covers. It’s a big-time for Asian American people in media,” she said to the New York Post. “I know I play a big role in representation in body diversity and race diversity, and I love to be a role model and representative of the plus-size Asian community.”
Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and conservative online personality, who wrote the bestselling self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. He is known for criticizing identity politics while giving simple life advice, as Forbes reports.
The backlash from Peterson’s tweet was immediate and widespread; his tweet garnered over 23,700 replies from fans and non-fans alike.
“Why do men feel it’s their duty to publicly pronounce their view on the attractiveness of women?” questioned one Twitter user. “Couldn’t you just keep it to yourself?”
Another online political commentator and Twitch streamer who is known as a leftist, Hasan Piker or HasanAbi, mocked Peterson with a tweet repeating Peterson’s words but attaching an unflattering photo of Peterson.
“You surely recognize that different people have different standards of beauty,” one user who called himself a fan replied. “I don’t know what authoritarianism has to do with any of it, but this feels like you’re trying to be insulting for no discernible reason.”
Other users defended Peterson, arguing that being overweight is unhealthy and that Nu should have expected criticism.
Peterson responded by calling his tweet a “conscious progressive attempt to manipulate & retool the notion of beauty.”
“Rage away, panderers,” he tweeted before engaging various replies, doubling down on his comments.
Finally, he decided to quit Twitter due to the “endless flood of vicious insult.”
However, it is unclear if he has actually left the app yet, as his account has released several more tweets since then.
“I don’t even know why you girls bother at this point,” she mouthed, showing a screenshot of Peterson’s original tweet. “Give up. It’s me. I win. You lose.” She then displayed the cover with her on it to the camera.
“For years, there was a lot of shame around my body,” she told NBC News. “It made it hard for me to flaunt the curves I had for a while. I was putting my worth and value on what people thought of me.”
She concluded, “Now, I have the power over my own life and how I feel.”
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