SINGAPORE – Two months ago, a Singaporean competitive bodybuilder, @dinokang, shared 62 Instagram stories regarding YouTuber Chloe Ting’s workouts, debunking them and criticising the information that Ting shared. Other YouTubers and fitness gurus chimed in their thoughts on the workouts, along with many followers who are supportive of Ting’s workouts.
Fast forward to 11 August, Ting uploaded a 17-minute video on her channel titled “Time to Talk..”, along with hashtags such as cyberbullying and defamation. The video had since been watched 1.9 million times, amassing over 142,000 likes and 1,800 dislikes.
The call-out video begins with screen captures of @dinokang’s Instagram stories and other hateful comments, with Ting’s voiceover saying “I didn’t want to make this video. This channel has never been about drama, but I have been getting hate like this so I guess it’s time for me to address this.”
Labelling the bodybuilder’s comments as a “malicious campaign” against her, the YouTuber told viewers not to leave any comment about the person or on the person’s page as she “doesn’t like to give haters attention, so no free shout-outs for anyone.”
During the 17-minute video, Ting reads out @dinokang’s accusations and debunks his claims with snippets of her past videos.
On one of the Instagram story, @dinokang wrote, “God forbids women do sports and have bigger thigh muscles (sic),” to which Ting shared snippets of videos where she said “Muscles are great. They are metabolically more active. [...] I love muscles and I think you should too.”
On another Instagram story, the bodybuilder wrote that “The first three girls made really good progress because they stopped eating crap, not because they did this 10-min workout for two weeks.” The post alludes that the weight loss is due to eating clean and that Ting’s workout did not help.
“No one said that that's all they did. I stress about the importance of nutrition all the time,” Ting said before sharing past videos of her speaking about the need to eat clean, along with a snippet of her meal preparation clip on eating clean.
One of the biggest accusations was the bodybuilder linking Ting’s content to body dysmorphia and eating disorders. He wrote, “I'm no sociologist but I do know that these 'standards' are fuelling eating disorders and body dysmorphia (you hate how you look physically) everywhere and that's just wrong.”
To that, the YouTuber invited Dr Ben Buchanan, a Clinical Psychologist Specialist in Body Dysmorphic Disorder from the Foundation Psychology Melbourne to join her on a video call. When asked about his views on the Instagram stories, Dr Buchanan shared that while the bodybuilder “points out that you might be getting people to be hyper-focused on their bodies, but then he seems to do the same to you.”
Regarding the way the bodybuilder had written about Ting, Dr Buchanan echoes her thoughts about her being body-shamed by @dinokang. “I think it's body shaming and I know one of the things that you've been concerned about when we first started chatting about this stuff is you've really wanted to make sure that your content isn't triggering to people and perpetuating unrealistic standards of beauty.”
The specialist had also praised Ting for the kind and compassionate community that she had built within the YouTube space. He added that Ting’s content always talked about “it’s more about the way we feel than we look”, and “don’t compare your progress with other’s progress”. With regard to whether her video titles could cause body dysmorphia, Dr Buchanan gave his opinions that “the content of the video matters so much more in terms of affecting people's well-being.”
Later on in the video, Ting revealed that @dinokang's brother's girlfriend had tried out her workouts, in which she had blurred out the workout video, and did not have an issue with the video title.
Another dig that was thrown at the YouTuber was her comment about eating chocolates every day. She reasoned that it was a “tongue-in-cheek moment, and he really pounced on it, taking it literally every time to ridicule me.”
"Obviously, we know that foods are not created nutritionally equal, [...] by making them morally equal, we can remove their power over us and in turn reduce our desire to binge on them in excess. There is nothing wrong with enjoying fun foods like chocolate regularly, even daily, as long as they're not crowding out other nutritional foods in the diet.”
Rounding off her video, Ting hits back on claims that she is making $800,000 monthly from her YouTube videos. “I can tell you it is nowhere close to that. YouTube will be owning me so much money if that’s the amount I earn.”
With over 16,800 comments in just two days from posting the video, many of her subscribers shared their weight loss journey from following Ting’s workouts. Others hit back on how intense the workouts are, as opposed to claims that they are of zero intensity.
The workout in question, Get Abs in 2 Weeks, has since been viewed 215 million times, with over 4.3 million likes and 177,000 comments.
The 17-minute call-out video can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTp-0S82guE