Lauren Chan has shared her approach to handling criticism online.
On Friday, the Canadian Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model posted a video to Instagram offering her followers some insight into how she deals with negativity on social media. Chan revealed once she was featured by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in 2023, she was exposed to a new audience that was vastly different than her "echo chamber" of followers.
"I got a lot of nasty comments from largely middle-aged white guys that range from body shaming to racist to transphobic — shocker," she revealed.
Chan expressed her surprise at the contrast between the hateful comments and the seemingly normal profiles of the individuals behind them.
"Despite the fact these profiles had pictures of families, children, daughters, and sometimes even bible verses in their bios, it seemed like a lot of rage had taken over them," she said.
Her theory behind the hateful behaviour is that, "most people think, act and believe exactly what they're told. And in this society those tellings are patriarchal, capitalist and Christian."
Chan speculated that the anger hurled at her stems from seeing someone who defies these societal norms succeed, as she did with her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit feature.
"They're told that if they play by those rules, they'll be rewarded. But nobody is being rewarded in this economy," she said. "So when they see people who didn't play by the rules in the first place, like me, reaping the benefits of being featured in publications like Sports Illustrated, they get angry."
Chan said she's now able to "digest" their comments and is able to "not take it personally" and move on.
In her caption, Chan summarized her message and shared her hopes of helping others who face harsh comments online.
"I hope it helps you feel better next time someone says something mean to you," she penned.
The response in the comments was overwhelmingly positive, with fans applauding Chan's resilience and openness.
"I still find it challenging not to take things personally, but stepping back from the heavy emotions to see things clearly like you’ve done is definitely the road to more compassion for self and others," one follower wrote. "Thanks for sharing."
"It’s tough to deal with and you’ve gone through the process so thoughtfully," commented Canadian TV host Tracy Moore. "Thanks for passing this on."
"Yes," another said. "The internet can be a rough spot. Proud of you for showing up!"
The Brantford, Ont. native made her debut as the new 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit rookie in April 2023 — in which she also publicly came out as gay for the first time after going through a divorce.
"I'm here! I'm a lesbian! And I'm telling you right now!," Chan wrote at the time.
Earlier this month, she followed up with a heartfelt Instagram reel recapping candid and intimate moments of her relationship with the caption, "My new favourite view," along with rainbow, heart, champagne glass, peach and flame emojis.